After Losing Their Newborns, Devastated Parents Are Warning Everyone To "Stop Kissing Babies"
The Gobers were excited to be bringing their very first child home from the hospital after she was born. Jeff and Natasha Gober of Utah were so thankful for the safe delivery of their precious little Mallory. Little could they have expected the tragic turn her brief journey of life was about to take.
Just three weeks after her birth, little Mallory's life was cut short. Her parents were, understandably, heartbroken. They didn't understand how their seemingly healthy child could have ended up dying. The doctors told them the cause was an aggressive infection that her small body wasn't able to withstand.
The Gobers certainly aren't alone. Many parents have had to endure this type of earth-shattering loss of a newborn who seems completely normal and then suddenly passes away.
Abigail Friend and her husband were a Maryland couple who were blessed with a sweet newborn whom they named Aliza Rose. She was just eight days old when she died from a virus.
People naturally want to cuddle and smooch newborn babies. Their faces seem like they're just asking to be kissed. But parents like those already mentioned in this story who lost their precious babies are putting out a word of caution.
Even healthy babies can end up catching viruses and infections and losing their lives needlessly due to touches, kisses, and caresses from well-meaning loved ones.
In the case of both the Friends and Gobers, their babies ended up dying from catching Herpes Simplex Virus-1. In older people, this virus typically surfaces as a common cold sore that isn't life-threatening. However, when a baby catches it, the virus can cause death if it's not quickly diagnosed and treated.
Jeff Gober was so overcome with grief at the passing of his daughter that he wasn't emotionally able to speak out right away. Finally, he felt compelled to say something to try and raise awareness so other children wouldn't end up meeting the same fate as his little girl.
On social media, he begged people to make sure and wash their hands thoroughly before handling a young baby.
The statistics from the World Health Organization for HSV-1 are rather shocking. Up to 67% of the world's population is infected with this common virus worldwide. There are plenty of infected people who never demonstrate any symptoms at all, so they're unaware that they're carriers.
In spite of Mallory never being kissed by anyone who showed any kind of cold sore symptoms, she still managed to contract the disease sometime during her first week of life. Aliza Rose spent only one and a half days as a healthy baby before coming into contact with the deadly HSV-1 virus that eventually took her life.
Her mother urges people to be diligent about washing hands before touching babies and to refrain from kissing newborns. Those within the first two weeks of life are most vulnerable to dying from the disease.
Lucy Kendall, a new mom from England, had to bury her newborn son when he died of the herpes virus. He was just eleven days old when he passed away. Both of the baby's parents were in dismay and utter disbelief that he could die so suddenly after being born healthy.
Neither of his parents had HSV-1, but that viral infection turned out to be the cause of his death as well.
Rhian Brace, also of England, found out that her son Ernie had HSV-1. She made the discovery by noticing some unusual lumps that appeared on his head seemingly out of the blue. Once the spots started looking infected, his mom became alarmed. She took him into the doctor to be checked immediately.
The disease works quickly, attacking the lungs, brain, and other major organs of the body when it's contracted by a newborn. In Ernie's case, it appears that he received treatment in time and is on his way toward wellness once again.
According to the Department Of Health, New York State, the first signs of HSV-1 in babies are little blisters.
They can show up near the mouth or lips, and throughout the face. It's spread by touching the skin of an infected person, getting in contact with their saliva, or even through germs left on objects that have been touched by infected people. This is why hand washing before touching babies and not kissing babies is so important!
Were you previously aware of the risks this common virus poses to newborns? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Pass this story along to everyone you know, to help prevent more tragic newborn deaths from HSV-1!