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‘The only thing different was that shot’: Did a doctor visit mysteriously kill a healthy 12-year-old?

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (PIX11/WITI) – A 12-year-old girl’s heartbroken parents are trying understand how their healthy daughter could have died without any warning.

Meredith Prohaska was an active girl who loved basketball, swimming and playing outdoors, but on July 30th her parents found her lying unresponsive on the floor, according to WITI.

The only explanation her mother, Rebecca Prohaska, could think of has to do with a doctor’s appointment for a sore throat she had hours before her death.

“She got her first HPV vaccine at around 10:30, 11 o’clock that morning,” Prohaska said.  “Thirty minutes later she was trying to sleep.  I kept waking her up.”

Prohaska left her daughter around 3:30 p.m. to get food, but when she came back she found Meredith on the floor.  She tried to revive her with CPR, using skills learned during 14 years as an Emergency Medical Technician for the National Guard.

Unsuccessful, Meredith was taken to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead.

According to the station, an autopsy was inconclusive but her mother believes a rare side effect from the HPV vaccine may have been to blame.

“The only thing different about that day was that shot. I wish I would’ve known more about it before I agreed to it,” Rebecca Prohaska said.

The chances of dying from an HPV vaccine allergy are minuscule — nearly one in a million — according to Dr. Geoffrey Swain, a professor and doctor with the Milwaukee Health Department.

“Vaccines in general and the HPV vaccine in particular, very, very safe. It’s a very safe vaccine and very effective,” Dr. Swain told the station.

More tests have been scheduled as her parents try to determine what took their daughter from them at such an early age.

“Be aware of every possible side effect — and make sure you’re hugging them all the time because you never know when you’re just going to be left with pictures,” Rebecca Prohaska said.

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12 comments

  • reissd

    It’s impossible not to feel for this family. My condolences. What a tragedy.

    But presenting the story in this manner is problematic, although including Dr. Swain’s comment helped. There’s no evidence this was an allergic reaction. The child was sick going in; she was tired after the visit, she did not break out in hives or have other signs of allergic reaction; why assume it’s the vaccine and not whatever was causing her sore throat? Why present the story without pointing out that the grieving, hurting mother’s suggestion that it’s the vaccine has no evidence behind it? That besides the shot, there was at least one more difference that day: the child was sick??

    Giving this kind of presentation to an unsupported claim has costs. Other parents may be scared from protecting their children against HPV infections because of it. HPV causes tens of thousands of cancers each year and kills thousands. Scaring parents away from it because the hurting mother believes it’s the vaccine, with no evidence, is a blatant injustice to those who will be left at the mercy of HPV infections. They deserve better.

    Large scale studies found no serious harms from HPV vaccines. Studies in multiple countries, in hundreds of thousands young women. At the very least readers deserve to know that it’s been studied and found safe; that the infection harms tens of thousands and kills thousands each year.

    This presentation is very, very problematic.

    • Kay Pisarek

      Your insensitivity is problematic ! My god they just lost a child! They want answers. She NEVER should have received a vaccine if she was already sick!!! You know what killed her! I am wondering how much money you get paid for your job ??????

      • Ken

        Kay, if I was in charge of discrediting anti-vaxers, I would pay people to leave hysterical, nonsensical comments such as yours. But then again you’re doing that for free.

        One of you is worth 10 Dorits.

      • reissd

        It’s natural and understandable that the family wants answers.

        The network, on the other hand, should make sure it’s reporting is accurate and responsible. And no, it’s not completely clear what killed the child. What we know is:
        A. The child was sick enough to be taken to the doctor.
        B. The child got the vaccine – and I would agree that it would be better to wait, not because vaccinating her with a sore throat was harmful, but to prevent this kind of muddling.
        C. The child was sick after getting home – sleepy and vomiting.
        Nothing there to show it was the vaccine rather than the illness. If anything, the opposite.

        Horrible tragedy, either way. But phrasing it this way may mislead parents into leaving their children unprotected against an infection that causes cancer. If this story kills other children – by leaving them exposed to HPV infection – their death would be just as much a tragedy.

  • Kay Pisarek

    Well if she had a sore throat they should not have administered a vaccine!!!! You know damn well what killed her! It is time to end this shit and fess up!!!

  • Lee

    Really Dorit? ‘Large scale studies found no serious harms from HPV vaccines’? In Merck’s clinical trials using healthy teenage girls with no underlying conditions 1 in every 912 died. Dead. The background mortality rate for teenage girls in the USA at the time was approx 1 in 3,500 – healthy girls, girls with cancer, girls with auto-immune conditions, girls with heart problems, unhealthy girls that are excluded from all vaccine trials, not just Gardasil. In the trials 73% acquired a ‘new medical condition’ after Gardasil – fainting, injection site soreness, auto-immune illness, Guillain-Barre syndrome, death – new conditions of all sorts.

    Dr Swain said that the ‘chances of dying from an HPV vaccine allergy are minuscule — nearly one in a million’. He is probably right, allergies to vaccines are pretty rare, it is what the ingredients actually do to physiologically harm the body that is the problem. Aluminium adjuvants, borax, polysorbate 80 in Gardasil are all known to cause serious harm. Athletic girls with higher levels of testosterone are at greater risk of harm from Gardasil, do your research. Gardasil contains L-histidine, the first vaccine to do so, injecting a naturally occurring amino acid into a growing girl along with an aluminium adjuvant designed to force the body to react to antigens contained in that same vaccine is a recipe for disaster.

    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/janak/080830

    • Ken

      Really Lee – one in 912 motality rate? Do you have a reliable source for that claim? Or do you just get to make stuff up because of your outrage?

    • reissd

      During the clinical trials, which included almost 30000 young women and girls, there were 40 deaths – and that includes both the control group and the placebo group. The insert details the causes of deaths – none of which were from the vaccine.

      To remind you, the clinical trials took years – it’s unrealistic to expect no deaths in such a large number over years. The causes of deaths were: “The most common cause of death was motor vehicle accident (5 individuals who received GARDASIL and 4 individuals who received AAHS control), followed by drug overdose/suicide (2 individuals who received GARDASIL and 6 individuals who received AAHS control), gunshot wound (1 individual who received GARDASIL and 3 individuals who received AAHS control), and pulmonary embolus/deep vein thrombosis (1 individual who received GARDASIL and 1 individual who received AAHS control). In addition, there were 2 cases of sepsis, 1 case of pancreatic cancer, 1 case of arrhythmia, 1 case of pulmonary tuberculosis, 1 case of hyperthyroidism, 1 case of post-operative pulmonary embolism and acute renal failure, 1 case of traumatic brain injury/cardiac arrest, 1 case of systemic lupus erythematosus, 1 case of cerebrovascular accident, 1 case of breast cancer, and 1 case of nasopharyngeal cancer in the group that received GARDASIL; 1 case of asphyxia, 1 case of acute lymphocytic leukemia, 1 case of chemical poisoning, and 1 case of myocardial ischemia in the AAHS control group; and 1 case of medulloblastoma in the saline placebo group.”

      In other words, both girls in the vaccine group and in the placebo group died – and none of the deaths were from the vaccine. As far as I know, no death has been connected to this vaccine with medical or scientific evidence yet.
      In contrast, thousands die each year from the HPV infections the vaccine can prevent.

    • reissd

      Similarly, your claim about vaccine ingredients is simply incorrect. The amounts of ingredients in vaccines are tiny: the whole vaccine is 0.5 ml, a tenth of a teaspoon, and most of that is liquid, usually distilled water. The tiny amounts of aluminum salts or polysorbate 80, for example, in it are much smaller than what a girl gets from her diet. Infants have been shown to safely handle larger amounts of vaccine ingredients. Claiming that a teenager can’t is simply implausible.

  • Kay Pusarek

    We are smarter than you think and it’s getting harder and harder to pull the wool over people’s eyes . Too many being harmed! Pap Smears are the best way to help prevent cervical cancer!

    • reissd

      Pap smears are very, very important, but they are not a panacea: even with them thousands die each year, and they do not prevent cancers, they just allow them to be treated earlier. Nor do they do anything for the other cancers caused by HPV – penal, anal, throat. Prevention is better.

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