A furious mom-of-four is considering severing ties with a set of fellow parents after they failed to disclose that their daughter had chickenpox in a situation that left her clinically vulnerable child dangerously exposed to the virus.
Vaccines have played a significant role in changing the impact of chickenpox in the U.S. Data from the CDC shows prior to the introduction of the U.S. Vaccination Program in 1996, chickenpox led to more than 10,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths every year, with over 4 million people contracting the virus.
Since then, however, there has been a 90 percent decrease in deaths linked to chickenpox as well as 84 percent less hospitalizations and 92 percent fewer cases. It’s a hugely positive shift, but some caution is still required when it comes to dealing with outbreaks of the virus, as one angry mother’s story demonstrates.
Writing in a post shared to Mumsnet under the handle JustLyra, the woman explained that the youngest of her kids is clinically extremely vulnerable and has “numerous health problems” that mean she “isn’t likely to make it to adulthood” and the family has had to be “very careful her whole life.”
Despite this, the mom said they have always tried to find “a balance between protecting her, but making sure her siblings don’t live too limited a life.” Part of that has always been that any other parents looking to include their kids in activities simply give them a “heads up” if there are any potential issues so they can “risk assess it.”
That system seemed to work well until one of their other daughters, who is 8, attended a sleepover at her friend’s house. When they first dropped her off, there didn’t seem to be any issues, with the child’s parents insisting there were “no coughs, colds or anything in their home” when she went over.
However, just a few days later, the mom received a message letting them know the birthday girl had developed chickenpox. Soon their own daughter got it, with their clinically vulnerable younger child also contrasting the virus. The latter became “seriously ill” and spent six days in the hospital.
Even so, the mom had no issues with it, concluding it was just “one of those things and couldn’t be helped.” Except it could.
A few days later, she learned from a mutual friend that the birthday girl’s mom was feeling guilty as they knew she had chickenpox “before the party” but they decided “to just not say anything” as they “really wanted” their daughter to have a fun birthday.
While the girl’s father has since “apologized” over the issue, the mom said it “really doesn’t make it okay” and she is not ready to forgive or forget anytime soon. “I don’t want anything to do with them again,” she said. “I don’t trust them and I’m furious that they’d take that risk with someone else’s child, especially in our situation.”
Newsweek has contacted JustLyra for comment.
Social media was similarly unequivocal in its assessment of the situation.
BMW6 called their actions “completely unforgivable,” with Outlookmainlyfair writing: “Why push [for] a friendship when their self centeredness caused your child to be hospitalized.”
MargosKaftan urged the mom to “cut them out,” adding: “I’d not speak to them again and certainly they can’t be trusted with someone else’s child.”
Darbs agreed that their actions were “unforgivable” and said she hoped the other mom learned something from the experience. “I hope she felt awful and it would stop her from ever doing something like that again,” she wrote. “Completely selfish behavior.”
Butitsnotfunnyisititsserious also concluded: “It’s unbelievably selfish for a parent of a child who is known to have chickenpox to not advise others they are due to be around…There’s no apology in the world that would make me remain friends. You’d never be able to trust them.”
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