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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