I’d like to introduce you to Alex Spourdalakis, a 14-year-old boy who lives with his mother, Dorothy. Alex is not like most 14-year-old boys. He has severe autism with cognitive impairment, and he is non-verbal. Like many kids with autism, he experiences periodic disruptions to his sleep.
A few months ago, Alex’s sleep disturbances got serious enough for him to be become agitated and aggressive. This coincided with the onset of severe gastrointestinal symptoms, like constipation alternating with diarrhea. In the middle of February, his mother took him to Gottlieb hospital in Illinois, USA. He was in excruciating pain, which manifested as aggression.
For 13 days, Alex was kept in locked restraints, only being released to use the bathroom. Bear in mind that this kid was suffering from constipation, diarrhea and vomiting. He tried to communicate when he was getting sick by screaming, but staff frequently didn’t release him in time and he would have to lie in his own vomit for several minutes at a time. He would be allowed to use the bathroom, and then he would be wiped down and returned to the restraints.
During this time, Alex was given a cocktail of drugs that were not helping, and repeated pleas by his mother for his allergies to be considered fell on deaf ears, even as his skin became raw from allergy-induced dermatitis. He was not formally admitted to the hospital, nor was a proper treatment plan devised for him.
Are you horrified yet? Brace yourself, because the story continues. (more…)
Have you ever been to the movies and seen a trailer for a film that you previously had no interest in seeing and then suddenly thought to yourself “That is a film I CANNOT MISS”?
That was the idea behind GAVI’s most recent production. It’s a three-minute film by a talented young American film maker called Ryan Youngblood that I stumbled across in Kigali one day and I think he and producer Doune Porter more than fulfilled their brief.
On April 26, during WHO’s first-ever World Immunization Week, Ghana will introduce not just one but two new vaccines into its immunisation programme. (more…)
(l to r) WMB editors Jennifer Burden, Nicole Melancon and Kyla P’an interviewing Shot@Life Executive Director, Peg Willingham
On January 29th, three members of the World Moms Blog editorial team—Nicole Melancon, Kyla P’an and WMB Founder, Jennifer Burden—traveled to Washington, DC to attend a summit focusing on the Shot@Life campaign, hosted by the United Nations Foundation. The following is excerpts from an interview we conducted with the campaign’s Executive Director, Peg Willingham, about Shot@Life, the UN Foundation’s new global vaccination initiative:
World Moms Blog: Peg, can you share some background with us about the UN Foundation and how the Shot@Life campaign evolved?
Peg Willingham: Sure, The UN Foundation was established in 1998, when the founder of CNN (Cable News Network), Ted Turner, who has a deep interest in foreign affairs,wanted a way to support the work of the United Nations. He made a US$1 billion grant, establishing the Foundation to serve as a (more…)