12-year-old dies in Waukesha, mother says she was perfectly healthy
WAUKESHA--A Waukesha mother said her daughter died a few hours after receiving the first dose of the HPV vaccine.
"She was a very healthy 12-year-old. There was nothing wrong with her heart. She didn't suffocate from not being able to breath. She is very healthy. There is no reason that she is gone," said Rebecca Prohaska.
Her daughter, Meredith Prohaska died on July 30th. The cause of death is still pending.
Rebecca said she took Meredith to the doctor around 11 a.m. for a visit and while she was there Meredith was given her first round of the HPV vaccine.
Rebecca said her daughter was very sleepy afterward. She went to run errands and said she was gone about half an hour. When she returned home Meredith was unresponsive. Her other daughter told her Meredith had just thrown up.
Rebecca insist her daughter was healthy.
"We have to wait for medical reports to see if it was an allergic reaction to the HPV shot. The other possibility is an asthma attack, however she knew where both her inhalers were. She had asthma for 6 years. She knew how to handle that. It's very unlikely that was the cause," said Rebecca Prohaska.
It could take ten weeks before more information is released by the Medical Examiner, according to Rebecca, but she believes anaphylaxis-- a severe allergic reaction, is a possible cause for her daughter's death.
"I can't think of any other reason that could have caused this," she said.
Dr. Geoffrey Swain, emphasizes deaths due to vaccines are extremely rare.
"Anaphylactic reactions due to vaccines are so rare-- they're on the order of 1 in a million," he said.
Dr. Swain says 4,000 women die of cervical cancer each year, a disease that could be prevented with the HPV vaccine.
"I think the take home message is this-- vaccines are very safe, and very effective, against very serious illnesses," said Dr. Swain.
He says 26,000 people are diagnosed with HPV related cancers each year, but Rebecca says parents should do their homework before getting their children vaccinated.
"I could have fought cancer, I couldn't fight this," said Rebecca.
Meredith's funeral is on Saturday. The family has set up a Gofundme page to help with expenses. http://www.gofundme.com/cf3060