Like most couples in love, Jeff and Natasha were happy to find out they were expecting a baby.
The thought of adding a little baby to the family was most exciting for them. They talked about memories they would have, and they could not wait to see their girl grow up to be a young woman.
But what they didn’t know was that the fate of their baby was cruel, and she died at the age of only three weeks. It was only when doctors informed Jeff and Natasha how their baby had died that the uncontrollable grief turned to anger. Because only then did they realize that her death could have been prevented..
After taking the time to come to terms with the death of his baby, Jeff was given the stage on which he was willing to speak. He chose Facebook as a platform to share his tragic story of what happened to his little daughter, in an attempt to raise awareness and warn others of a more common potential danger than people think.
In an emotional message, Jeff wrote:
“I’ve been pretty quiet since Mallory’s death. It took me more than a month to write this, but if something good came out of her death and it can prevent others from experiencing the heartache, then it would be negligent on my part not to try.
If you have a new baby, or are around new babies, wash your hands. And a lot.
HSV-1, also known as the Herpes virus. It is extremely common, and the World Health Organization estimates that 67% of all people in the world are infected with the virus. And if that’s not bad enough, many people with the virus will never see symptoms of the disease during their lifetime and may not even know they have it. For newborns, however, this can be fatal, as was the case with Mallory.
You might think it was supposed to be easy to diagnose. Surely someone with nasty herpes kissed her in the mouth, right? Mallory has never come in contact with a person with active herpes. Never. No one kissed her on the mouth. And yet she contracted HSV-1 in the first week of her life and we had to watch her dying for two weeks. Mallory could not keep her hands out of her mouth and eyes and she kept sucking her fingers, so it’s almost certain that the virus got on her hands at some point. The disease can be transmitted even without active herpes.
She showed no symptoms other than high fever for the first week, and by the time the sores appeared it was too late. Given that more than half of the world has herpes, we do not understand why so few babies die from the disease or why our beautiful daughter Mallory was part of this sad statistic, but I guess that’s how the world works.
Please, if you are reading this, be extremely careful and be sure to wash your hands next to fresh babies. Statistically, you’re probably infected with HSV-1 whether you are aware of it or not”.
As Jeff heroically explains, it is essential to wash your hands thoroughly if you intend to be around babies. When the HSV-1 virus is so common, it is very easy to infect others, people with weak immune systems – even if you did not mean to.
We wish Jeff, Natasha and the rest of the family peace and comfort. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Please help Jeff spread this important warning by sharing the article on Facebook. You never know, it might save a life!