Debut author Mouille writes a cautionary memoir about her son’s severe reaction to a flu vaccine.
Maurice Lamkin was a normally developing, active kindergartner when his mother had him vaccinated against the flu virus that was rampant in his school. Relatively unconcerned when Maurice initially developed a fever, Mouille was stunned when his condition rapidly deteriorated, landing him in the intensive care unit. She and her father watched helplessly as Maurice’s condition deteriorated and he was put in a medically induced coma in an effort to combat brain swelling. Mouille resisted the medical professionals’ urging to remove Maurice from life support, instead relying on her faith, prayer, and family support to help him recover. He did survive, although with severe brain damage. Mouille’s memoir covers the next nine years of Maurice’s and his family’s lives as he relearned basic activities of daily life, and Mouille struggled to care for him and his three siblings. Despite financial hardship and debilitating depression and anxiety, Mouille, with her father, grandmother, and aunts always by her side, never lost faith in her son or God. Finally, with the assistance of her attorney, who brought Mouille’s case to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, her financial concerns were eased, and she turned her attention to helping other families who had similar experiences. Despite her self-professed writing inexperience, Mouille tells an engrossing, highly readable story. The word choice here is sometimes off, but it doesn’t detract from an account that will move parents of both disabled and nondisabled children. While others may disagree with the life choices she made, Mouille herself seems so nonjudgmental that it’s impossible to fault her for doing her best, and her ability to maintain her strong faith is inspiring.
An unadorned, heart-wrenching, and timely true story.