This is something I have been sitting on for quite a few months. I have written a few posts regarding the harassment and vilification which have been perpetrated on the McCaffery Family. The McCafferys didn’t do anything to these people. The McCafferys simply warned the community – our shared community – about the Whooping Cough epidemic which claimed the life of their baby girl, Dana. The McCafferys weren’t warned about the epidemic when Dana was born. As Toni says: “a warning sticker on Dana’s Blue Book could have saved her life”.
I want to introduce you to another supporter of the Australian Vaccination Network: someone who is welcome on the AVN fora; someone who likes to use her status as an RN to demonise health care professionals; someone who likes to send repugnant and cruel emails to the parents of a deceased baby girl, through the contact email address of that little baby girl’s memorial website.
On January 25 2012, Baker contacted the McCafferys through Dana’s website:
Email title: Breastfed or not?
Hi there, and sorry to hear about what happened. I’m a concerned mum and just have a few questions, feel free to ignore my message if you feel it is insensitive. was your baby being breastfed? And what places had your baby been to / who did she come into contact with prior to getting sick? Thanks and God Bless
Toni replied with the usual dignity we have come to expect:
I am not sure who has sent this as you have not left a name.
Your email is a little insensitive; the subject title is quite blunt.
As per our public letter, yes I did breastfeed and we don’t know how Dana was infected. Can I ask why you are asking these questions?
You can find out information on whooping cough via these sites:
Toni and David McCaffery had become accustomed to emails of this type. Many threads on Dana’s Facebook Memorial page had started out the same way, in the same tone, with the same concerns.
On January 26 2012, Baker sent through her response:
Sorry, I thought my name appeared automatically. My name is Kerry Baker. I chose not to have my son vaccinated for whooping cough as his father almost died from whooping cough despite being fully vaccinated for it, so for this particular illness I felt my son could very well be unable to develop immunity following vaccination. I have read reports stating that it took some time for Dana to be diagnosed, and am interested to find out what Dana’s initial symptoms were, how many days old he was when they started, and what medical contact she had prior to diagnosis and admission into hospital. My son also has many allergies that have effected his ability to have vaccines. Therefore I am contacting you as a concerned parent. I would like to have more babies and with my first son I kept him isolated and breastfed for almost the first two years due to these issues. I am hoping your experience can help save lives in the unvaccinateable. I seek the truth. Prior to learning the experiences of my son’s dad and realising my son’s unique circumstances, I was very much pro vaccine.
I’d like to learn as much as I can because even the fully vaccinated aren’t 100% safe, and I wonder if the doctors took you seriously an how quickly Dana was diagnosed. Because whooping cough I on the rise, and I don’t wish to ever have to go through what you went through with your perfect baby girl.
Thanks for your time and apologies for any insensitivities. You want to help save lives, so please help my family know what to look for,
Having a pretty good idea of what was to follow, Dave replied to Baker, still maintaining their dignity:
This is David. Please spend some time going through the links Toni sent you. The links are put together by the experts in the medical field and they contain the information you require. Much of Dana’s story is already on the website you accessed to send this email. Please read it for all the background and information you refer to.
You must also speak to your doctor face to face, before you make a decision about how you should protect your family from infectious diseases.
Good fortune in life. Take care of yourself and your family.
On January 27 2012, Baker replied: the true intent of her correspondence was now revealed:
I have done all of the above. Immunization is not the answer. Unvaccinated people are not to blame for your daughter’s death. Perhaps the vaccines she did receive and medical incompetence are to blame. ALL of your links are PRO the vaccine, but it is not 100% safe and effective. In fact, it may well have been the CAUSE of your daughter’s death. It appears that you must be getting some kind of sponsorship from the pharmaceutical companies. Yay, you now are actually playing a role in encouraging MORE babies to die
through your scare mongering tactics. The vaccine strain is the one my son’s dad nearly died from. Well done, I hope you are getting paid enough.
Toni and Dave did not reply any further. Baker added another email two hours later:
We reap what we sow. Claiming that unvaccinated people spread disease is wrong. Sick people spread disease. Including sick babies. But diseases exist to eradicate the unhealthy members of society. Perhaps you should stop pointing the finger at the unvaccinated and take responsibility for the other contributing factors. Your fear mongering is even more dangerous than disease. Perhaps you could have links that aren’t pro-vaccine? It’s quite likely that the vaccine is the reason your baby died. And the fact her immune system was probably already weakened by the vaccines she DID receive. Oh yeah, not to mention medical incompetence.
I will leave you alone, but you must choose to leave alone the people that choose not to vaccinate. Fair is fair. I feel you are very misguided and no doubt you think the same of me. But comparing how healthy and bright my unvaccinated son is, to how sick, dead or “special needs” the fully vaccinated kids are, well that’s proof enough for me.
We ought to learn from life’s painful lessons. Playing God with our children’s lives is what causes this unnecessary suffering.
Obviously, I don’t need to add anything to Baker’s own words: they speak for themselves as to what type of person uttered them.
Here is Baker on the AVN Facebook page:
Here is Baker stating what a good old fashioned nurse she is: she left out the bit about vilifying a family whose baby died from a vaccine preventable disease:
Here is Baker informing the AVN readers of her community work, wherein she has noticed that the flu vaccine is making people sick. Why is it that only anti-vaccine campaigners are the ones to notice this?
This person is a welcomed supporter of the AVN. This is the type of person the AVN attracts. Let’s see how long she lasts on AVN fora. Will you welcome this cruel, callous individual back on to your page, Ms Dorey? Like you did with Andrew MacDonald?
Again, if you know of this person; make sure you alert everyone to her behaviour. I sure as hell wouldn’t want her anywhere near a patient.
Updated August 1 2012
It would appear that Kerry Baker has not learned anything from her harassment and vilification of a grieving family. Baker appeared again on the AVN page, to prove this is not just a simple mistake. This is what anti-vaccinationists do. For another horrible example, instiugated by Meryl Dorey herself, see my updated post, Meryl Dorey now states that contacting grieving families is appropriate. Here is another Baker comment, from a few days ago, made on the AVN Facebook page:
Update: August 3 2012.
Unfortunately Baker has continued to vilify and lie about the McCaffery Family. The following screen captures are taken from a Facebook thread where one of Baker’s friends held her to account for her repugnant actions. Baker responds with some mighty conspiracy-mongering: that I am the person who runs Dana’s website; that I somehow misquoted her own words; that she only contacted Dana’s website to test if it was real; that the McCafferys have somehow said something that they have plainly never said (she refuses to back this up); that I am paid to do what I do in my spare time; that I am destroying the careers of people (who issued a ferocious attack on a grieving family). Here are her comments:
I hope I don’t need to update this post any more. I hope Kerry Baker apologises for her callous lies, and her callous actions. Somehow, I doubt this will happen.
Kerry Baker just needs to hide in the hole she has dug, and disappear.