When Greg's son Riley was born, Greg's life felt complete. Together with 3yo daughter Olivia, Greg and his wife Catherine enjoyed a blissful few weeks in their newborn bubble getting to know their beautiful boy. But on Day 27 of Riley' life, something changed. Riley was suddenly less interested in breastfeeding and had developed a slight cough. The next day, in an abundance of caution, his parents took him into hospital for a check up, feeling confident he would be home that same day. Only four days later Riley had died. Whooping cough, an insidious, but wholly vaccine preventable disease, had claimed baby Riley's life. At only one month old, Riley was too young to be vaccinated. His devastated parents discovered shortly after that a vaccine for pregnant women had been recently recommended in other countries to protect newborn babies in-utero, however this was not yet available or offered in Riley's pregnancy. Incredibly, Greg and his wife Catherine dedicated themselves to bringing the Whooping Cough vaccine to pregnant women across Australia, creating awareness of vaccine preventable diseases, whilst keeping the memory of Riley alive.
Greg shares with us the time he spent with his newborn son, the nightmare of his sudden illness and hospital stay, and how, as a bereaved father, he navigated the all-consuming grief and breakdown that can only come from losing a child.