Father pushes for meningitis awareness, vaccines

October 23, 2013 1:58:31 PM PDT
A father who lost his daughter to bacterial meningitis is visiting our area this week to push for more awareness - and vaccinations.

Bob Werner of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, is working with school nurses groups.

He also appears in a YouTube video, telling the story of losing 20-year-old Becky 10 years ago.

Werner says it all began innocently enough one morning. Every morning, Becky would greet him with a big 'good morning' hug.

But that morning, as she gave him her usual hug, she said she didn't feel well, that she had chills.

For the first day, it seemed like the flu. Overnight, however, she was moaning & groaning in discomfort, and her temperature began climbing.

By 6 in the morning, the Werners had their daughter in the hospital E-R, but the bacterial meningitis was overwhelming her body.

She died less than 2 days after coming down with what seemed like the flu.

Werner says fewer kids would fall victim if meningitis vaccinations were a priority.

"Right now, moms & dads take their kids into the doctor, and there's a schedule of shots that are recommended for their kids protection, right now, this shot is not on that schedule," he told us.

Since then, the Werners have established the Becky Werner Meningitis Foundation, to educate everyone about meningitis.

They also work with Voices of Meningitis, an outreach of the National Association of School Nurses.

In Philadelphia, he took his message to the Academy at Palumbo school, where he spoke to health classes.

He also spoke to the banquet of the Chester County School Nurses Association.

Werner still misses Becky's big hugs, but says this is his way of keeping her spirit alive.

You can also connect to the Voices of Meningitis effort on Facebook.

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