Parents hope video of son's final moments will save lives

THE parents of a little boy who died of whooping cough have released a distressing video of their son's last moments in the hope that it will encourage more parents to immunise their children.

Catherine and Greg Hughes should have been preparing to celebrate their son Riley's first birthday soon.

Instead, they are having to recall heartbreaking moments leading up to his death.

Catherine is particularly urging all pregnant women to take a booster shot during pregnancy.

In a post on Facebook, Catherine wrote: "These are the final videos of our beautiful son Riley who passed away from whooping cough."

Riley was 32 days old when he passed away.

"I have always kept these videos to myself because it makes my blood run cold listening to my beautiful boy cough like that," she wrote on the Facebook page Light for Riley, a campaign her and her husband founded to prevent further deaths from whooping cough.

"But we are sharing this in the hopes that it will convince just one more pregnant mum to protect their baby from this disease. I wish I had known about pregnancy vaccination when I was pregnant with Riley."

In the beginning her son did not have the "whoop" sound in his cough and it was only after they took him to hospital that his cough developed further.

*Warning - contains content that some may find distressing*These are the final videos of our beautiful son Riley who...

Posted by Light for Riley on Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Catherine also asked parents to seek help from a doctor if their newborn baby has a cough, and was too young to be vaccinated.

"If I had been offered a whooping cough booster during pregnancy, there is a good chance Riley would still be with us today.

"Whooping cough boosters are now free for pregnant women in their third trimester in Australia, and recommended in every single pregnancy.

"Antenatal care providers need to be recommending these boosters to every single pregnant patient. Antenatal hospitals need to have midwives who can vaccinate available, and not send people away to their GP, as this can lead to confusion or people forgetting.

"Anybody who has close, regular contact with a newborn also needs to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.

"Childhood vaccination does not begin when the child is six weeks. It now begins when the mother is pregnant. Please don't forget to have your pregnancy vaccinations and protect your baby from this terrible disease.

Studies show that babies are 80 to 90 per cent less likely to contract whooping cough if their mother had a booster during pregnancy, the ABC reported.

Those visiting young babies are also urged to make sure they are up to date with their whooping cough boosters, which should be done at least every 10 years. They take about two weeks to take effect.

The sad video has already been shared more than 4,600 times, with many people commenting with their condolences and sharing their own personal experiences.

The Last 24 Hours**********************2pm, Monday March 16th 2015We stood anxiously in the pediatrics intensive...

Posted by Light for Riley on Monday, August 3, 2015

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