“Life’s unfairness is not irrevocable; we can help balance the scales for others, if not always for ourselves.” –Hubert Humphrey
Hello, my name is Robin Stavola. My family and I hope that Holly’s story will make a difference and help you realize that you must be aware of the benefits and risks of vaccinations for your child just as you make yourself aware of the benefits and risks of any medical procedure. We, unfortunately, were not educated in the area of vaccinations and because of this we were not able to help the medical people help our daughter Holly. The reason we would like to tell Holly’s story is because we think other parents, as well as doctors, should know the truth and become educated about vaccinations.
Holly died of encephalopathy which she developed 7 days after receiving her second dose of MMR vaccine. Encephalopathy is one of the potential reactions of the MMR. You need to become knowledgable and informed before making your decision to vaccinate. We hope doctors would take post vaccination symptoms more seriously, so one day someone you love may benefit from a cautious doctor. The doctor and parent should assume the worst until the time period of possible adverse reactions to occur is over. Your doctor should not have a problem with assuming your child’s symptoms are related to the vaccination, because it is only being cautious and caring. When our daughter became severely sick, the medical people and we were in the dark because we were unaware of vaccine reactions.
Download and review the Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) which are available from the Center for Disease Control’s website. These papers will give you a summary of details about each disease and vaccination on the CDC recommended schedule. These VIS are also at your disposal in the doctor’s office. Before every vaccination, the doctor or nurse should provide you with a VIS for each vaccination your child will be receiving.
If you would like to read the law, Click Here or you can find it on the NJ State Legislature website www.njleg.state.nj.us/ and click on chapter laws, then click on 2003 chapter laws, and then scroll to page 6 of 7 to find P.L. 2003, c257 and you will see Holly’s Law.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to shed light on an important issue. However, our daughter’s death was not in vain now because we have told many people Holly’s story and there is now a “Holly’s Law” in the state of New Jersey. Holly’s suffering was painful to watch for my husband, her brother and I, but at least now we know there have been lessons learned from Holly’s story.
We will be forever grateful to the legislators who sponsored our bill and to everyone that helped us along the way to get our bill through the legislative process. We are thankful as well as for the health committee legislators that have made children their priority by support of this bill. For more information about the bills’ sponsors, visit the website mentioned above.