A mum is urging people to vaccinate against measles after her baby daughter nearly died after contracting the disease.
She is one of 1028 Aucklanders to be diagnosed with measles during this year’s “significant outbreak”.
At just 10 months old, Lakyn-Ray Auloa is too young for the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination.
She had been in and out of hospital for the past three months with fevers that wouldn’t come down and vomiting.
* Auckland measles outbreak: Top children’s doctor says some children may die
* Unvaccinated daycare staff posing serious measles risk to babies, mum and experts say
* Auckland measles outbreak: Dad urges people to get vaccinated after baby’s diagnosis
Mother Sose Auloa, 33, said the “little symptoms” were causing her and 35-year-old husband Leroy concern, and on August 21 the baby was admitted to Middlemore Hospital with pneumonia.
During Lakyn-Ray’s time in hospital, Auloa said she continued to get worse.
She was tested early on for measles but the test came back negative.
A week on, Lakyn-Ray deteriorated and then tested positive for measles, Auloa said.
A rash began to spread across her body. Then doctors discovered one of her lungs was failing and she was struggling to breathe.
Lakyn-Ray was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), underwent surgery and was placed on life support, which she would stay on for seven days.
She was then transferred to Starship Children’s Hospital.
While her daughter was on life support, Auloa said she couldn’t sleep, eat and didn’t want to talk. She said she spent most nights crying.
“Just seeing any child with so many tubes out of places around her body was the scariest thing to experience.”
Auloa said the family pulled through with the support of extended family, friends and their church.
The measles diagnosis shocked her, she said. She, her husband, and older children Jaydee, 14 and Brooklyn, 12, were immunised. However, it was possible Lakyn-Ray had contracted measles during earlier trips to the hospital.
She had a message for people who weren’t vaccinated: “Be mindful of your surroundings and all those around you.
“If you’re not sure whether you are or you aren’t [immunised], definitely pay a visit to the doctors because the last thing [I] want is somebody else’s child to go through the same thing Lakyn-Ray went through.”
Lakyn-Ray was still being monitored at Starship but she was “progressing beautifully”, happy, and only had an oxygen tube connected to her, Auloa said.
The family was “thanking God to be able to hold her, cuddle her and kiss her”.
Measles is a highly infectious and potentially life-threatening viral illness, which has more than a 50 per cent death rate in children with low immunity.
It is almost entirely preventable through two doses of the MMR vaccine.
After one dose, 95 per cent of people are protected from measles. After two doses, more than 99 per cent are protected.