Greg and Caroline Hughes shared a heartbreaking photograph of their newborn son shortly before his death.
On 15th Marc, Greg Hughes posted a message on Facebook telling anyone who is anti-vaccination to look at photograph of his newborn son, Riley.
In the picture, the baby boy could be seen wrapped up and battling for his life in Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital.
The heartbroken dad wrote: “If you’re anti-immunization/anti-logic/anti-duty of care to your society as a whole, then feel free to take a look at this picture of my son in hospital right now at 4 weeks old with whooping cough – and then come and tell me how you think immunization is a bad thing.
“I can assure you that my views on the subject wont be changed by your rationale, but it will definitely make it easier for me to cull my pool of friends and acquaintances.”
Tragically little Riley passed away just 48 hours after the photograph [shown below] was taken.
He was just 32 days old.
Utterly shattered by the news, Greg wrote: “RIP to my darling little angel Riley, cruelly cut down before his life had an opportunity to start.
“Riley passed away peacefully in the arms of his mummy and daddy at 14:00 today, aged just 32 days – a result of pneumonia based complications arising from whooping cough.
“I’m an absolute shell of a man without my baby boy and I’m truly not sure how I’ll cope, but I ask that you please respect the privacy of myself, Catherine and our family during this extremely arduous time.”
Riley was too young to have started the infant vaccination program that might have protected him from the disease, as, in Western Australia, babies start to be immunized from two months of age.
His grieving parents have now said that they don’t want their son’s death to be “in vain” and want to “be the drivers of change” surrounding the treatment and management of whooping cough.