Mother raising awareness after teen daughter's meningitis death - Montgomery Alabama news.

Mother raising awareness after teen daughter's meningitis death


Some states require that kids entering the 7th and 12th grades get a meningitis vaccine but that vaccine may not be enough to fully protect your child from infection.

One heartbroken mother from New York doesn't want your children to end up like her daughter and she has a strong warning.

"Kim was a very kind person, very compassionate, very, very silly.  She was the most wonderful daughter," said Patti Wukovits.

Kimberly Coffey was a senior in high school when she came home with a slight fever and body aches. Her mom Patti thought Kim might have the flu.

"She had three tiny purple dots on one of her ankles and I'm a registered nurse so I knew that something was going on with her blood."

So, Wukovits rushed Kim to the hospital. 

Wukovits said, "When I got her into the emergency room, the doctors told me that they suspected Kimberly has bacterial meningitis and I told them that's not possible my daughter has been vaccinated."

Doctors said, unfortunately, it was possible because the vaccine Kim had, which is what most teens get, only covers four strains of meningitis. 

The vaccine doesn't protect against meningitis B and that is what ended up taking Kim's life.  

"We actually buried Kimberly in her prom dress that she didn't get to wear at their senior prom just two days before high school graduation."'

When Kim died, there was no vaccine for meningitis B but now there is but it's a separate shot for teenagers. The catch? Parents have to specifically ask for it.

Dr. William Valenti said, "Over time, we'll gain sort of a stronger recognition and become a part of the regular vaccine recommendations for young people."

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News/NBC. All rights reserved.

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