Today is Thomas and Jude's birthday. T is turning 4, but Jude isn't. He died on May 6/16 from flu B. He was a perfectly healthy two-year-old. Today I get to spoil T when he's home from school, but I'll never get to hug Jude again. Let me tell you about him. /1#forjudeforeveryone pic.twitter.com/m49Qq16Sxi
A #rainbowbaby is a baby born after a loss. Jude's name came from a lot of places, but especially from #thebeatles. It took a long time and a lot of heartbreak to finally meet these boys. We could hardly believe life could be so good when we finally had them. #heyjude /2 pic.twitter.com/uHNjEM5V2j
T&J have a big sister who couldn't possibly have fallen more deeply in love with or been more proud of her brand new brothers. Through the years she's loved teaching them all the important things she knows and getting into trouble together. /3 pic.twitter.com/CGTCBEqhBG
Early on Jude was a very serious baby, but it wasn't long before he discovered his ridiculous sense of humour. We thought Isla would be the ring leader, but Jude was capital-T Trouble with an impressive ability to rope the other two in. He was the pajama thief. /4 pic.twitter.com/v1i6zUTtmt
He was always Superman to Thomas' Batman, and had Superman jammies in every size. They were his favourite thing to wear any day and he would happily fly around the room, arms out behind him, while wearing them. /5 pic.twitter.com/4hVHOYxOnx
He was smart, putting together things we wouldn't have expected. He found a little yellow block and thought it was an octogon, until we explained the number of sides on different shapes and that his block had five. He then proudly carried it around to show people his pentagon./6 pic.twitter.com/jGWbjFBGyE
He loved lions. I made him a lion hat and he roared and giggled every time he wore it. One day while waiting for Isla's bus he found a dandelion and asked me what it was. 'Dandelion? Lion? Lion hat? ROAR!' And every dandelion after resulted in a fit of giggles. /7 pic.twitter.com/x2wL2vZ8Tm
Penguins were tied with lions as his favourite. This video was taken weeks before we lost him.
'Hellooooo!' /8 pic.twitter.com/fDJStRnktT
When teaching them their last names, Jude was over the moon to learn he was Jude McGee. 'Jude Mickey? Mickey Mouse? Mouse house?' [insert more giggles] He later loved to tell people he was Jude Mickey, or even Jude Mickey Mouse. /9 pic.twitter.com/nygfYW8Nlw
This is on the wall in their Beatles-themed room and this was one of Jude's favourite songs to sing. He requested it often, calling it 'Wawa' because of the way we would (loudly) sing the instrumental parts. /10https://t.co/fKM5EJmbje pic.twitter.com/OMZldA3jUi
This is the last picture I ever took of him. He died four days later and his story ended. This hilarious, brilliant loving little boy who surprised us constantly was gone without warning, and still today I don't have the words to describe this loss./11 pic.twitter.com/IjyaZ7fgV5
Why am I telling you all of these things? Because these little things are all we have of him now. He's gone and there will never be more of him. /12 pic.twitter.com/29xpfxbU2s
Worse, his death was preventable. The flu is preventable when, as communities, we do our part to stop the spread. More #flushot.s, more people staying home when sick, more hand washing and covering sneezes and coughs. These things protect us all, especially higher risk people./13 pic.twitter.com/6IYE3J3EGa
And our story isn't unique. Every year ~3500 Canadians and ~36,000 Americans die from the flu and its complications. Even more are hospitalized and there's a significant burden on facilities every flu season. This puts other patients at risk and can impact operations. /14
Other families will lose their loved ones. Other families will find themselves making unexpected funeral plans. Other families will need to learn how to put one foot in front of the other when the world has fallen out from under them. /15
Today, on Jude's birthday, I'm asking you to make sure that you're doing everything you can to reduce your chance of playing a part in a story like ours. Get your #flushot if you're medically able, stay home sick, wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes. /16 pic.twitter.com/PQY2Z4XvoM
Many people had the flu before it passed to Jude in May. What if one of those people had taken an extra step in flu prevention? Whose life might you save by taking extra care this season? We can't know our impact, but people's lives are worth our effort. #forjudeforeveryone /17 pic.twitter.com/1abKXzgljf
I am so sorry... Thank-you for sharing your story... It's such an important one!
Thank you for your kind words. He was a fantastic kid and he should be here eating Mickey Mouse cupcakes today. I hope we can protect someone else by sharing him.
Paul Broadfoot @paulonious74
So sad. My daughter has immunity issues, so we all get the flu shot now. People are so misinformed. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful little boy. So sorry for your inexplicable heartbreak.
Thank you. We've always been careful about flu prevention because we have high-risk people in our lives, people like your daughter. Jude failed to develop immunity from his own shot and participation is low, leaving him without community protection. We can all do better.