16 years old
Written by her mother.
Amber was a perfectly healthy 16 year old girl who collapsed on her way into work, with a seizure. Then her heart stopped. Amber played vollyball, track, bowled and loved hanging out with her boyfriend, family and friends. She was upbeat, fun and loved life. She was the last in the nest; she was my best friend. She looked forward to joining the military like her older brother and sister.
Amber’s Story: 31 March 2008, Amber went to the doctor for a sore throat and at the same time she was administered her second shot of Gardasil. She also had a shot of Rocephin and was put on Erythromycin (Z pack). Being her mom, I asked if she should have the shot since she was sick, and her nurse practitioner said it would be no problem. She was also in the middle of her menstrual cycle when she received the shot.
She stayed home from school a couple of days as she complained of headaches, being tired and slept a lot. I attributed it to her illness.
She went to school on 3 April 2008. Amber was on her way to work after school and I was on my way home. She called to let me know that the road to our house was closed due to water. That was the last time I ever talked to her. About 15 minutes later, I got a call from her work saying she had collapsed on her way into work.
I live only a few blocks from where she works. When I arrived, they were just getting ready to start CPR. Amber was taken to the hospital about 15 minutes away. They did not get a heart beat until they reached the emergency room. She was transferred to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where she did not come off life support. Her brain had swelled and without a breathing tube, or tube feeding her, she would not be able to live. She was brain dead.
Amber was an organ donor on April 7, 2008. I sat at her head in the surgery room while they removed her breathing tube, she tried breathing for a while. I’m the one that had to tell her to go and to just be at peace. I was the one with her at the end.
No mother should have to do that for her child. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, or ever will do, in my life! I am so glad Amber saved at least five other lives. I get up every day because I know she would want me to let others know not to get this vaccine to prevent this from happening to any other young women, or moms.