A devastated father came out to the public after his baby dies to give a serious warning that everyone must see. He spoke on something not many think about, yet this costed him his precious little baby girl.
Jeff Gober and his wife Natasha were very happy to welcome their baby girl Mallory into the world, however their excitement would but quickly stopped as they faced every parent’s worst nightmare. During the first week of her life, Mallory got a high fever, then for the next two weeks, these parents watch in agony as their sweet newborn girl passed away slowly.
After finding out the truth about the simple yet devastating cause of their daughter’s passing, the grieving dad couldn’t let Mallory’s loss be in vain. So, he mustered the strength to tell his daughter’s story in hopes of saving others from the heartache that he and Natasha endured as Mallory succumbed to a preventable illness at just three weeks old — all because of one detail that’s commonly overlooked.
“I’ve been pretty silent,” Jeff Gober’s emotional and educational post began. “It’s taken me over a month now to write this, but if any good can come from her passing and prevent someone else from experiencing the heartache, then I would be remiss not to make an effort.”
Then, Jeff gave some advice we’ve all heard before, but his reason for it is something many of us probably haven’t thought about and might not even know. “If you have a new baby, or will be around a new baby, wash your hands. A lot,” the dad wrote. “If anyone wants to hold your baby, make sure they wash their hands first. Then, make them do it again.”
Jeff went on to reveal the shocking reason for his strict advice. “HSV-1, most commonly known as the virus behind cold sores, is a form of herpes (Herpes Simplex Virus-1). It is EXTREMELY common, and the World Health Organization estimates that 67% of all humans on Earth are infected,” he relayed, adding a link to the source of his information.
While many of us realize the problem that cold sores can pose to infants and small children, there’s something many don’t know. “Many people who are infected will never show symptoms in their lifetime and probably don’t even know they have it,” Jeff explained. “For newborns, it is more than likely fatal, as was the case for Mallory.” Although one would think this virus would be easy to diagnose, it’s not so obvious, as Jeff went on to explain, making it clear that his daughter didn’t pass away from a cold sore laced kiss. Her loss of life was due to poor handwashing, to be sure.
“Surely someone with an oozing cold sore kissed her on the mouth, right? Mallory was never in contact with a person who had an active cold sore. Never. Nobody ever kissed her on the mouth,” Jeff Gober adamantly recalled. In spite of that, she caught HSV-1, and this dad is sure he knows how it happened.
“Mallory could not keep her hands out of her mouth and eyes, and she was constantly sucking on her fingers,” he wrote, including a photo of his little girl doing just that. “So, it’s almost certain that the virus got onto her hands at some point.”
“It is possible to be contagious even without an active cold sore,” the devastated dad warned. In fact, Mallory herself didn’t have any symptoms beyond a high fever for most of the first week. Sadly, “by the time blisters showed up it was probably too late for the antivirals to be effective,” Jeff explained.
“Considering that more than half the world has the cold sore virus, we don’t understand why so few infants die from the disease or why our beautiful daughter Mallory was the unlucky statistic, but that’s the way the world works I suppose,” he wrote before concluding, “Please, if you’re reading this, be extra diligent about washing your hands around newborns. Statistically speaking, you’re probably infected with HSV-1 whether you know it or not.”
Like any parents, when Jeff and Natasha found out they were expecting, they were beyond thrilled. The thought of starting a family, making memories, and spending a lifetime laughing with and loving their little one was exciting. Those dreams were all stripped away by one simple mistake — failing to follow simple instructions we’ve all heard about so many times before but aren’t nearly as diligent about as we should be.
Wash your hands before you hold a baby. It’s common knowledge, but all too often overlooked because we don’t feel sick or don’t think we are “dirty.” This is a case where what we don’t know can definitely hurt us and the ones we love. In memory or Mallory, take a moment to remind everyone that washing their hands before touching a newborn is absolutely essential. Neglecting such a seemingly insignificant detail can have devastating effects. Knowing and being reminded about such a simple step can indeed save a life.