A 20 day old baby has been in the hospital since Sunday after being diagnosed with Pertussis or whooping cough. Oakley Kirkpatrick has been fighting through ever since with her family and the community behind her. Deputy Charlie Kirkpatrick told 5 News she's on life support and in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
"She's fighting for her life right now," said Deputy Charlie Kirkpatrick from the Lewis County Sheriff's Department, Oakley's Father.
"They're just innocent babies that haven't done anything wrong to anyone and shouldn't have to have an unfair start at life. They shouldn't have to fight for anything the way my little girl has to fight right now for her life," said Deputy Kirkpatrick.
This is a bacteria infection deadly for children under six months old. Her father told 5 News it snuck up on Oakley. It started off as a little cough, kept progressing, and now she's on life support.
"Right now her lungs aren't working, her heart's having to overwork to keep everything going, and her kidneys aren't working," said Deputy Kirkpatrick.
"They're holding in there as well as they can. It's a terribly sad situation and just trying to tell him to keep the faith. I think he's going to do so. He's a fighter and I have to believe that his daughter is going to do the same thing," said Sheriff Adam Gissy, Lewis County Sheriff's Department.
But how could she have gotten this?
"It's something that can be just picked up from anywhere. What happens is that it's usually picked up from people who haven't been vaccinated," said Deputy Kirkpatrick.
Vaccines can help save lives, but Oakley wasn't allowed to get one yet.
"We don't start vaccinating until 2 months old so they are old enough and the immune system is ready for the vaccine," said Mary-Ann Kroll, Pediatrician.
The community of Lewis County and all over have come together to support her and the whole family.
"We came together as a family, as one continuing to support my daughter and my family. I thank and appreciate everyone for their thoughts and their prayers," said Deputy Kirkpatrick.
There's a prayer service Friday night at 6 p.m. at The Way of Holiness Church in Buckhannon for anyone who wants to come. Also, if you want to help the Kirkpatrick family with their medical bills you can donate online or send it to the Citizens Bank in Weston.
Click here to donate online.
You can also donate to them through Citizens Bank, by either dropping them off or mailing it to:
The Oakley Kirkpatrick Medical Fund
Care of Lisa Wilson
P.O. Box 310 Weston 26452
Or if you just want to send them a card wishing them well, you can send it directly to the hospital at:
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Children's Hospital Drive
4401 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Care of Oakley Kirkpatrick
Nov 01, 2013 at 5:37 AMI realize a lot of parents are frightened by a lot of stories about all the vaccinations. Yes, there's a small amount of children who have reactions to some of these vaccinations, but with that being said, if parents could actually 'see' what a child of any age goes through with whooping cough...(I myself having had it at age 12), they would not hesitate to get their children vaccinated against this awful illness. The younger the child is, the harder it is on their little lungs, heart and kidneys. A child so small doesn't have the immune system yet that older children have and it is almost always a long hospital stay for them. Please parents, get your children vaccinated for pertussis.
Nov 01, 2013 at 5:34 AMKeeping your little one in my prayers for a speedy thorough recovery. I myself and 7 other siblings much much younger than I all had this in the 70's and it is an awful thing to have. Parents should make sure their children are vaccinated against whopping cough. My youngest sister was under 2 months and stayed a while in the hospital with this and we all got through it okay. I pray that your precious daughter has such a complete recovery also.