Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health

Tammy's Story - One Family's Experience with Measles



NOTE: The following was written by Nick Hill who works as an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health. He chose his career in large part because of his sister Tammy's experience.

This is my sister Tammy Hill.  She is the picture of what measles encephalitis looks like after 47 years.  She cannot tell you what measles can do to a person, but I believe she would not want you to get it. During her 6 week checkup my sister was exposed to measles by a sick patient who had been in the clinic earlier, a patient she never saw. She was kept alive in an iron lung, and never progressed from the mental state of a 6 week old.  She died in October 2014 after a lifetime of medical complications finally caught up to her.  There are no words to describe how incredibly devastating this disease has been for my family. Beyond the physical trauma, the emotional toll has never been far from us.

This is my family loving Tammy. We are a home schooled family.  I feel blessed by the hard-earned freedoms of our country to be able to do this for them. We home school because we want to impart important core Christian and civic values to our children and maximize their potential as future leaders in their communities.  No one has to ask us whether we support vaccinations.  We vaccinate our children as early as they are able to receive them as part of our love for them.    

Tammy has helped us learn the importance of loving people from the greatest to the least.  Please vaccinate your children.


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