A first-time mother who declined a whooping cough vaccination has pleaded with others not to make the same mistake after she passed on the infection to her baby.
The woman, Cormit, who shared her story in a video posted to the Gold Coast Health Facebook page, was offered the vaccination in week 28 of her pregnancy.
“Being the fit, healthy organic woman that I am, I said ‘leave me alone, I don’t need this crap’,” she said.
But in her last two weeks before the birth, Cormit caught the highly-contagious and potentially deadly infection and passed it on to her baby girl, Eva.
What followed next was a nightmare, she said.
Eva has spent weeks in the Gold Coast University Hospital fighting through coughing fits.
“It’s just so hard to watch,” Cormit said.
“They go red, and from red they go blue, and sometimes they go a bit black and for a moment you think they’re dead in your hands – they flop.”
As a healthy adult, Cormit overcame the infection quickly, but her baby girl has been fighting it for four weeks.
“Every hour I’ve got to stay here, watch her going blue, give her oxygen, watch her cry, watch her having a hard time eating,” she said.
“She’s my only child and my first and if I could turn back time I would have protected myself.”
In February, Gold Coast Health warned parents of a surge in whooping cough and said there had been 80 confirmed cases on the Gold Coast in just three months.
About 20 per cent of those involved young children.
Watch the video below: