***This is part one of a series The Iowa Standard will publish featuring the story of baby Evee. Additional parts will be published in the coming weeks.***
Often times death can leave more questions than answers. And when the circumstances are puzzling, putting all the right pieces in all the right places can take time.
But Catie Clobes, mother of baby Evee, is working to solve the puzzle in order to gain a full understanding of what exactly caused the death of her 6-month-old daughter, Evee.
At birth, Evee was given the Hepatitis B vaccine and the Vitamin K shot. She needed some oxygen following that, and her blood glucose level dropped. Evee stayed in the hospital an extra day to monitor her oxygen and blood glucose level but was released to go home after the extra day.
Evee was in “perfect health,” according to Catie.
At her four-month visit, Evee received three shots. She immediately developed a rash. According to Catie, the doctor’s reaction was one that made it seem the rash was normal. The rash isn’t documented in her medical records.
It was at that time Catie said Evee’s face became crooked and she developed a slant in her eye.
The day Catie took Evee in for her six-month vaccines, Evee was squealing and smiling and in a good mood.
“I didn’t even think twice about giving her vaccinations,” Catie said.
The nurse administered two shots, one to each thigh. Four hours later, Evee’s cheeks became “really red and really warm.”
Catie, who has two older children, thought Evee was teething. The next day she tried feeding solid foods, but Evee kept shaking her head no. She did that on and off all day.
At 9 p.m. Evee fell into a “deep sleep.”
The next morning Catie went into their room after going to the bathroom and told her it was time to wake up. But Evee didn’t respond.
“I looked at her chest, and it wasn’t moving,” Catie said. “I picked her up, and she was pale and a little bit cold. I started screaming.”
During the ambulance ride, Catie said she heard one of the medics say Evee’s stats were up, which gave Catie hope, but medical records say there was no resuscitation.
At the hospital, Catie watched as staff placed a blanket over Evee.
“The doctor came up to me and said ‘I’m sorry, but she’s passed on,’” Catie said. “The pain is so indescribable and it stays with you and it’s with me now.”
According to Catie, the medical examiner sent out their own investigator, asked if Catie could think of anything she did differently.
“Then I finally said, ‘Oh, she got her vaccinations,’” Catie said. “And I’ll never forget it. She looked up and kind of rhetorically she (asked), ‘She did?’ It was like she had seen this before.”
Looking back, Catie didn’t realize a child could be injured or killed from a vaccine. She had only ever heard about the possible connection autism and vaccines.
“I see it now. I see brain damage,” she said. “That rash that occurred on her face is in the autopsy report as a sandpaper-like rash that never went away. It was still there even when her body was frozen in the medical examiner’s office.”
Catie has continued searching for answers. It’s been a journey no parent could ever anticipate. We’ll continue telling of her experience in the next part of the series.