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.
Meet Kerry Baker: Registered Nurse, of South East Queensland. If you work with, or know of this person; you might want to share this post.
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.
Will she be welcomed by the AVN? Hell, she will soon be a page admin on Facebook, I’m sure.
What a sick, disgusting slag this woman is …. but typical of the Dorey ‘inner sanctum’
What Daniel said, but with added profanity. Sickening.
The 26 January post is instructive – Baker can’t even work out if the poor little creature was male or female. Dana was a girl, Kerry. A dead girl, because of herd immunity free-riders like you.
If my computer hadn’t cost me so much money, I might have thrown it across the room when I read the above. Baker, the difference between you and a barbel is one is a scum sucking bottom feeder, and the other is a fish.
I knew a Kerry Baker in primary school. I hope it isn’t the same one.
P.S. The difference between Nurse Baker and a barbel is, one is a scum sucking bottom feeder, and the other is a fish.
What a nutcase. I wonder if she is really an RN, or whether the qualifications are just a figment of her clearly crazy imagination. The McCafferys are dignified and strong. Kerry Baker’s emails betray her weakness of mind and spirit. An evil kind of madness.
Alas, she really is an RN
I think Ms. Baker has mental illness/issues and should seek help. Her comments and e-mails to the McCaffery family are not those of a well balanced person.
Can anyone tell me if this supposed RN has been reported to AHPRA? Have her comments been provided to them with a complaint?
I’m pretty sure a number of people are now looking into it, Louisa. I am not confident of anything happening though: she was commenting as a private citizen. A callous, cruel, but, private citizen. I hope I’m wrong.
I can’t give my real name but for those who are looking at reporting Kerry Baker to AHPRA, don’t be put off with her acting as a private citizen – bringing the profession into disrepute CAN be unsatisfactory professional conduct.
Thanks so much, “Helen”. I’ll keep that in mind for the other nurse/midwife from my latest post.
She says her partner nearly died from whooping cough? I thought the AVN’s stance was that whooping cough “won’t kill you”, “you’ll just be ill for a couple of weeks”.
She might get in trouble for admitting that. What a nut job.
Thank you for outing this person. The thought that someone with such deranged ideas might be out there in the community speaking on public health issues is deeply concerning. What a disgraceful person.
As a registered nurse I am ashamed that such an insensitive, callous person is part of my profession. I apologise to Toni and David on behalf of the many caring nurses out there (and most of us are). This woman clearly has a mental health issue and should not be working as an RN.
I agree, she shouldn’t be working as a nurse if she doesn’t even trust the Medical information the Mcaffeys provided her, she should have learned all about the risk of disease and stats etc during her nursing training). Makes me wonder if she really is a RN, after all the mentally ill can easily make up these fake qualifications.
Alas she most certainly is an RN but also one that also has mental health issues.
Interesting that Ms Baker seems to misunderstand the mechanism for shingles (dormant herpes zoster in the body after acute chicken pox illness). Also interesting that a 30 year old would get shingles – it is usually occurs in the immunocompromised, stressed, or otherwise unhealthy. I looked her up in the national register (which anyone can do). She is a very new RN – first registered in 08/2011.
Wow, very very new. If she had been of the older generation, I might have understood why she did not understand EBP. However being only new, it means she went through A&P, was educated from an evidence based curriculum, undertook subjects which discussed the importance of vaccination as a way of increasing public health (including how they are created and the steps undertaken until they are licensed by the TGA as being safe) and learnt the importance of research from credible sources.
There is no reason for her to continue to hold these anti-vax beliefs; it seems she is just one of those people that look at the side that gets nasty and harrasses and decided to take part for the fun of it. Seeing as how she is in South East QLD, I will be sure to keep an eye out and pass this on.
Ms Baker used the death of a child as an occasion and opportunity to argue her beliefs with the bereaved parents. There’s something immeasurably callous and narcissistic about that.
I completely agree. This is sad. So sad. I would never never do that. There’s a time and a place for everything, this was poorly done, at best.
Interesting side note, I have searched the Australian Medical Practitioners registration database and couldn’t find her on it. The only Kerry Baker from Queensland was first registered as a Nurse only last year so it doesn’t sound like her. Also there is nothing on her facebook account to indicate she is a Nurse. That information combined with her complete lack of medical knowledge is enough to cause me to doubt her claims.
Sadly though Christine, I am also a registered nurse and I have worked with many RNs who have a very skewed understanding of vaccination and herd immunity. Unfortunately, it is the right of all of us to have our own beliefs despite evidence to the contrary. It is my great concern that these people have the trust of many members of the community and are able to spread their misinformation relatively easily because of that trust.
This is the same Kerry Baker. She studied nursing at Newcastle University in the around 00’s and only just got her RN status recently.
I can no longer locate her name on the AHPRA national register. Has she cancelled her registration? In which case she is in clear breach if she continues to identify herself as a “registered” nurse..
Her registration lapsed, and she did not renew. We are keeping an eye out for her in case she pops up anywhere, working as a nurse, or in healthcare.
How interesting! I wonder if she chose not to re register or if she was ‘advised’ not to by the powers that be?
Ms Baker and her ilk are not the only people to recognise that ‘flu vaccines can make people sick. It’s a well recognised side-effect of some variants. The sickness, however, is very mild. Speaking as somebody who is immunosuppressed due to a congenital illness, and whose life is at risk when herd immunity to common diseases falls, I’m happy to feel mildly ill for a day once per year rather than the alternative (for me or for anyone else).
You’re correct, Jennie. I should have been more specific. Ms Baker, Ms Dorey, and her AVN flock like to spread the lie that the flu vaccine “gives you the flu”. Obviously that is impossible, in Australia. Flumist (nasal) in the US can very rarely transmit influenza to the immunocompromised.
In the words of Duke Leto Adreides
“Gods, what a monster.”
I am a mother of 2 boys, and we are a non vax family, that being said, what Kerry did to these poor parents is disgusting and unjustifiable. I am shocked anyone could be so cold, so callus, uncaring, I don’t care how differing your opinions are, that’s so wrong I can’t even put it into words. I would also like to remind everyone that Kerry is not the only AV’er like this and that there are also many PV’ers who are just as callus and sometimes more so regarding a child who has died from a vaccine. So, I’ve already stated that Kerry’s behavior was abhorant at best, and we all need to see what she’s done as an example of what NOT to be, regardless of what side of the coin we are on. The long and the short of it is, we are not going to change each others minds and our decisions and actions are our own perogitive and right, so let’s not be a Kerry. Let’s respect each other.
Thanks for speaking up, Stephanie.
No problem Hank, thank you for posting this article.
Can I ask all AVN supporters to please NOT contact this family in the future.
I think Kerry may have started out with good intentions but I think the comments about how sick or ‘dead’ a child are are certainly way over the top, and a very bad choice of words.
We are all entitled to an opinion on things, but in this instance, it would have been better if Kerry would have kept hers to herself.
She may have been speaking from a position of anger, as many of us do if we’ve been personally targeted by the system (or a particular person), or watched a child become hurt or disabled by medical intervention – but you should never attack a grieving family. NEVER.
When a young life is destroyed or lost, all of us, ALL OF US…no matter what our stance is on vaccination need to exercise a bit of decency.
I don’t believe the McCaffery’s have ever personally attacked any member of the AVN, and while I don’t agree with most of the tactics used by the SAVN, this…Kerry, isn’t right.
Hank, when I replied to you on twitter…it was prior to reading this.
I don’t generally read your blogs and I disagree with most of your opinions, but after having read this post, I felt something needed to be said.
Liz, perhaps you make this request on the AVN page, or direct a link to this thread there? It would surely reach more AVN members there.
Gosh. Another meaningless story of pertussis infection post vaccination. Vaccinated when? When he was a toddler? And it strikes me she’s not speaking about a frail chap, so having “nearly died” from pertussis is unique in that respect. I call BS on that one. Perhaps she should have breastfed him also.
Therein lies a problem too. A 6 month old baby has received 4mg of Al from vaccines, yet 10mg from breastfeeding over the same time. This “synergistic and cumulative negative effect” of Al, as Judy Wilyman puts it, seems a tad frail against the reality.
Assaults on the immune system from the environment outnumber any vaccine induced response by hundreds if not thousands. By the time they’re toddlers this frequency is remarkably higher. Vaccination strengthens infant immunity.
As for this ghastly woman, I was only recently pondering how AV movements can dehumanise members to the extent of being blindly inhumane and antisocial. Then again, so nice to read Stephanie’s comment. One imagines strong independence plays a role in how a person expresses themselves.
There’s been a few studies done on the basic lack of decency in the way some people behave on the internet. They seem to think they are anonymous and what they say cannot be held to account.
Kerry may well be under the misapprehension that she is free to say what she wants online without any consequences. Newsflash love, what you have to say online is forever. Someone can dig it up again years from now and hold it against you. If you really are that reprehensible you probably won’t care Kerry, but if you have any shred of decency you must realise that your disgusting behaviour is in evidence for all to see, forever. Make sure, if you are going to say something vile, you really mean it because once you hit the “post” button, it’s permanent.
I’ve been accused on being “bitchy” and worse by AVNers, but frankly guys that’s what I am like in real life too. I don’t suffer fools, if you say something distasteful or stupid or dangerous I will be upfront about calling you on it, and I’m well aware that once it’s up there it’s permanent. If I’ve got my name next to it I really do believe that, I really did mean to call you stupid or whatever, and really don’t care that others know. If you really believe what you put next to your name Kerry, be prepared for the storm of negative response.
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The “FEMA camp” comment is a give away that this person is posting from the United States. She’s likely a conspiracy theorist as well, per the same phrase.
No, unfortunately she is a nurse in Queensland. She has deleted her Facebook profile. Yes, she is a conspiracy theorist.
My search actually has a Kerry Baker listed as an RN in Bangalow NSW (surprising I know!). This Kerry Baker has been registered since 1987 so she has had 25 years to wreak havoc! I would like to know if it is the same Kerry Baker because as an RN myself and a Director of Nursing I believe that it is my duty to alert AHPRA of the conduct of this person. All members of the healthcare collective are bound by a code of conduct, the nursing code being The ANMC Professional Standards, conduct such as that definitely breaches those standards.
This Kerry Baker is definitely in SE Qld. She is only relatively new to nursing. My condolences go to the experienced Kerry Baker who may be confused with the callous Kerry Baker from this post.
This is definitely SE Qld. Kerry Baker. This Kerry Baker was 7 in 1987
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Wow! What a complete scumbag, she fits the bill for somebody whom needs to experience personally how it feels to be in the throws of a coughing fit from pertussis!
I hope that she can sleep at night after her unprovoked attack on the McCaffery family.
Sounds like time for legal action to be taken in my opinion.
She is a mutt. A dirty mangy mutt without a shred of decency. I hope that Louisa Squires hunts your location down and reports you. Then I hope that the appropriate body imposes some heavy handed sanctions on you.
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It seems like only a few days since I was the Peter who does all the Dana sockpuppetry. The baton has now been handed on to another Peter.
I don’t think we should treat this moron’s rantings as an aberration. She is only doing what all the anti-vaccination liars do, which is throw away any pretence at caring about the truth. The fact that she is obviously insane makes no difference. I regularly get referred to Rebecca Carley, a US anti-vaccination liar who has actually been declared clinically insane but who is cited as someone with something worthwhile to say against vaccines. I just wish that more of these people would follow ex-Dr Carley’s methods of demonstrating their mental state – actions such as defecating and urinating on the floor at a courthouse and then smearing their clothes and body with the produce, or demanding that court officers sodomise social workers to produce demon children. If more anti-vaccination liars acted like this the world would be better able to judge their statements about vaccine dangers.
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On behalf of nurses everywhere, I apologise for this one.
There are many anti-vax nurses out there; so many it terrifies me. There’s another who pops up frequently on TAVS – I have many screen shots, Hank, let me know if you would like them – and there is even a page called ‘Nurses Against ALL Vaccines’ run by someone claiming to be an RN. I have lost count of the number of times these soi-disant ‘colleagues’ of mine have called me a ‘shill’ and told me to ‘do my research’ to which my response is always, I have, what about you? What research did YOU do in training that I didn’t? Did you just pretend throughout your training? How does that make you a person of fit character to practice as a nurse?
It saddens and disgusts me that these ‘nurses’ use their professional status to lend credibility to their junk- and pseudoscience, whilst if I use my knowledge to help raise awareness and educate I am variously insulted, banned and deleted. I won’t stop though. It is my duty as a nurse to help protect the vulnerable and I have a thick skin. I know I can hold my head high, substantiate every claim I make and justify everything I say.
On a lighter note, an anti-vaxer called me a ‘pharma trollop’ earlier – straw poll: Should I be more insulted or amused?
Wear the badge with pride, I say.
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