A couple have told how their baby daughter died after being seen by four doctors before she was diagnosed with whooping cough.
Sean and Veronica McNally from Oakland County, Michigan, US, lost their three-month-old daughter, Francesca Marie, to pertussis – the medical name for whooping cough.
In a video posted on YouTube the parents talk about how whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial disease that most commonly affects infants and young children. The disease is a highly dangerous infection that attacks the lungs.
Through the story of their daughter's short life, they show personal photographs and video footage which reveals their joy at having a baby girl and then their despair at losing her so soon afterwards.
In the video, Veronica says: "She was so sick. [We] took her into a children's hospital and we were having her baptised when they [the doctors] took her from us. It was the last time we saw her alive."
Husband Sean adds: "There is a huge loss in losing a child but for us it was so painful to think about that our sons lost their sister. They adored her."
Veronica said she believes she had the disease before her daughter caught it.
A recent outbreak of whooping cough has caused concern across the US. Around 18,000 cases have been reported so far this year putting the country on course to hit numbers not seen since the 1950s.
The McNallys believe if they had been advised to get jabs it could have made a difference.
"What I think about is the fact that this has happened and we need to get out there and preserve her legacy. We need to be educating people," says Sean.
For more about the foundation click on http://www.frannystrong.org.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHOOPING COUGH
•The condition is an infection of the lining of the airways.
• The main symptom is a hacking cough followed by a sharp intake of air which sounds like a 'whoop.'
• Other symptoms include a runny nose, raised temperature, severe coughing fits and vomiting after coughing.
• The condition usually affects babies and young children. In rare cases it can be fatal.
• Children are vaccinated against the infection at two, three and four months of age.
• It can be treated successfully with antibiotics and most people make a full recovery.
More:Baby's First Year
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