Vaccinations - Baby Riley Hughes story




Vaccinations, Its often a topic of debate for many people for many reasons, and while I can appreciate everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs I cant accept that your choice will affect my family and friends for reasons I can not understand. My beautiful bebe was a little premmie so for us vaccination is so important to keep her safe, I also have a compromised immune system so I am extra careful.

For one beautiful little family the loss of their beautiful little boy has driven them to fight tirelessly for the cause. I  support them and also believe its so important to vaccinate your children and those in your family and to understand the debate.



Light for Riley facebook page


The heartbroken parents of baby Riley have been forced to defend themselves from online trolls

Baby Riley was born a beautiful and healthy little boy on February 13th, 2015 but devastatingly he contracted whooping cough and died from complications only 32 days later, I write this with tears in my eyes. A baby this young cannot be immunized and protected and so as a community it falls on our shoulders to protect them through vaccinations and awareness.

Catherine Hughes has stood up to people who questioned her online

Riley's Mum Catherine Hughes wrote a touching article for Mother and Baby where she tells her little families story and why it is so vital we protect our children by being up to date with our vaccinations. Riley was too young to be vaccinated and his whole family was vaccinated.


Riley Hughes

Big Sister Olivia cuddling her tiny baby brother with her father Greg and baby Riley

Unfortunetly cases of whooping cough are becoming almost epidemic in propertion. 
Victoria has issued an urgent health warning, after 2,500 babies have required treatment for whooping cough since the beginning of this year. Those figures are up a staggering 70 percent from last year.
Likewise, Canberra has seen cases double since last year: “An ACT Health spokesman said today there had been 168 cases of whooping cough recorded in the ACT since the beginning of 2015.”
NSW’s Illawarra district has also seen a spike, with 10 of the Illawarra’s childcare centres, preschools and schools notifying the region’s public health unit of children with whooping cough, including one northern suburbs school with 13 confirmed cases. (Link to article on Kidspot)

What can we all do to stay safe during an outbreak?

Virologist Dr Dave Hawkes explains: “The current whooping cough vaccine is about 80 percent effective, which is less than the previous vaccine (from the 1980’s) but it has much lower rates of side effects. The vaccine has to be given every five – eight years, so most adults are no longer covered by this vaccine, meaning adult booster shots are as important as the childhood schedule.”
“Whooping cough may only present as an annoying cough in adults so they may not be aware that they are endangering very young children by exposing them. Most deaths occur in children too young to be vaccinated so the importance of vaccinating those adults who come in contact with the baby is critical,” Dr Hawkes explains.

What you need to know, at a glance

  • The whooping cough vaccine is about 80 percent effective but only lasts five – eight years. Most adults are no longer protected by this vaccine.
  • Whooping cough kills young children (about 0.8 percent of infected children under six months of age) with an estimated 10 childhood deaths in Australia since 2009.
  • Babies can not receive their first whooping cough vaccination until they are six weeks old and are not fully immunised until they have had three doses, which happens by six months of age.
  • Most interactions infants under six months have are with adults, so if adults are not up to date with their vaccinations then its possible for them to expose the infant to whooping cough.
  • Herd immunity offers the best chance of keeping diseases, like whooping cough, at bay. 
“Whooping cough is not ‘just a cough’, it’s a deadly disease that killed our only son. We went from having a beautiful, healthy baby boy to having a box of ashes sitting on our shelf.” These are the words of Catherine Hughes, mother of baby Riley words no mother should have to say. 


How can you protect your child??





How can you help?



If you would like to make a donation, head here

and you can purchase one of these beautiful shirts and onesies from Sunday Soldiers and 100% profit from these shirts will be donated to the Light for Riley fundraiser for PMH.