Judah's Story

Judah Deary Judah Deary

As you know, there are decisions to be made after your baby is born: when to clamp the cord, eye ointment, hepatitis B vaccine and the vitamin K shot, to name a few.

Judah was born July 15, 2011.  My midwife asked if I’d like to have the vitamin K shot.  I said, “no.”  I found myself hesitating for a brief moment.  Chad was busy outside of our room so I didn’t have time to confirm with him whether this was still our decision.  I dismissed my hesitation and stuck with the answer we had chosen for our past five children.  None of my children had received the shot and they had all been fine. . . why was I hesitating?  Until Judah, my children had been SO, so healthy.  I praise God for their health and see how easily I had taken it for granted.  We had never needed an antibiotic in those 10 years prior to Judah.  We never experienced an ear infection or anything more than a common cold or seasonal flu.  We might have used Tylenol a total of five times in ten years.  I truly took for granted how healthy we had been.  And my justification continued….I knew I didn’t have the typical risk factors…  My labor had been smooth without complications…  In that moment I didn’t even remember all the reasons we had chosen not to do the shot.  I knew that way back when I first had Josiah there was speculation that the vitamin K shot was linked to childhood leukemia (that since has been proven false).  I did not do a good job researching the pros and cons of this shot, let alone praying about the decision.  And I did not think there was even the slightest possibility of anything wrong happening because of that choice.  Certainly a brain hemorrhage was nowhere on the radar.

Judah in the hospital Judah in the hospital

But, on August 20, 2011 life as our family of eight knew it drastically changed.  Our son, Judah Forrest James was 5 weeks old.  His first five weeks of life had been “normal.”  He was full term when born.  I had a great pregnancy and beautiful birth.  However, this particular day we thought Judah had the stomach flu.  He had thrown up a few times.  By the time our other children went to bed Judah seemed very lethargic.  We tried to wake him up to eat….to no avail.  He was “too sleepy.”  After a call to our midwife for advice we began packing our things to head out to the hospital.  I was in the kitchen finding items for the diaper bag.  Chad was in our bedroom changing Judah’s diaper.  I suddenly heard him screaming, “JUDAH!!!!! JUDAH!!!  Come on, buddy!!!  Krista!!  CALL 911!!!!”  ….Judah had a seizure and stopped breathing….  A 911 call, transport to Lakeland Regional Hospital, whirlwind of tests, another transport to Tampa General Hospital, and surgery to place a temporary shunt in Judah’s brain…  This was clearly not the stomach flu…

Judah's Family Judah's Family

Judah suffered two brain hemorrhages believed to have been caused by Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding or VKDB also known as Late Onset Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn.  We are thankful they found answers and determined the cause but that news came with a sting.  “Had you given your baby the shot, this probably would have never happened….”  Those words would replay in my mind hundreds and hundreds of times.

Page last reviewed: December 26, 2018