When a young mother from Alabama was forced to undergo a dangerous surgery because her daughter was allergic to a vaccine, she said it made her realize how much her life could have changed.
Alyssa Kowalski, now 18, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the summer of 2014.
It was the first time in her life she had ever been told she was allergic, and she was terrified.
“I thought about my daughter, who was just six months old, and how much I didn’t know about the vaccine,” Kowaleski told ABC News.
“And I thought about how my body could have been destroyed if I was not vaccinated.”
When Kowaloski was in the hospital, her mother was diagnosed as having Type 1.
“They called me in the middle of the night and said, ‘We’ve lost her and we have to find someone else to care for her,'” Kowaliski said.
After three days of intensive care, Kowalo’s parents were finally able to find a doctor willing to help her, but it wasn’t easy.
“She had the flu and had no idea how to use a walker, so she couldn’t get to her house,” KOWALSKI said.
“It was just a horrible, horrible situation.
They were not allowing her to go to her mom’s house.
They said, you know, she’s been here four weeks, you’re supposed to take her to the hospital.
And I was like, why don’t I go to the doctor and I’ll get vaccinated?”
Kowaloskis parents, who are also doctors, were desperate for an answer, so they went to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if they could get her immunized, but the answer was no.
“This is a very common situation that we have seen in our practice,” Koweal told ABCNews.
“The CDC is very aware of this issue and we understand that it’s an extremely serious issue and this is an extreme case of it.”
“I’m sure we will hear from the CDC, and we’ll be doing everything we can to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, but I think we need to start from the beginning.”
Kowalskis story caught the attention of Alabama’s state health department, and so they started looking into the issue.
They found out about a similar situation that happened in Texas and asked if it could be a similar story.
“If we don’t get vaccines to people in Alabama, it’s going to be a disaster,” Kowa’s father said.
Kowalos story was also covered in The Birmingham News and other local media outlets, and people began to take notice of the problem.
Kowa said the vaccine has been a huge help in her family.
“Because of the vaccine, my daughter has been living life to the fullest,” Kowell said.
“She has been able to get out of her house and do whatever she wants.”
Now, she is hoping to be able to start her own family, but she said she needs the vaccine to make that happen.
“To start my own family is the best thing that could ever happen for us,” Kowsko said.