Unexpected: It Could Have Killed My Child


Shiela Marie Espinosa, Housewife, Mother (20 years old) to Jacob (3 years old)

I haven’t slept all night. We’ve been here since 1AM. We took my son to the emergency room because his breathing didn’t sound right. It was too fast and too deep. He started coughing at 6PM. We thought it was just asthma so we nebulized him to ease it. He seemed fine, playing as usual. But later, he couldn’t sleep properly. Every now and then, he’d wake up because of a stuffy nose and his continuous panting.

One of the doctors said that he has pneumonia as well and that it can kill. I was so shocked to hear those words! I broke down and cried. I never thought something like this can happen to my child.

I can’t really remember how they explained it. Another doctor told me that there’s a vaccine for pneumonia and that asthmatic children should get it. But no one told me about it when I’d take him for his shots. I wish I knew!

I thought that they’d just give him oxygen and give us a prescription. But he looks like he’s having trouble breathing again. My husband has been at the pharmacy for a long time now, buying the medicine Jacob needs. I tell my son to get better already, so he can go home. But if he doesn’t get better soon, they won’t let us go home.

Translated from Tagalog


A Fair Shot for All Kids

Pneumonia is the leading cause of childhood deaths for the Philippines and many developing nations. Unfortunately, pneumonia vaccination remains unaffordable for many families. How might we empower the Filipino diaspora to pressure pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and GSK, to drop the price of pneumonia vaccination?

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