Harrowing reality of measles: Pictures show nine-month-old's battle for life

The parents of a nine-month-old girl who spent a week on life support battling measles are pleading with other parents to vaccinate their children. 

Lakyn-Ray Auloa is one of the youngest victims of the disease infecting around 37 people every day. Hospital pictures showing her battle for her life reflects the harrowing reality of the measles outbreak.

"It felt like the longest week of our lives, me and my wife's lives. It felt like forever," says Leroy Auloa, the child's father.

Described as a bubbly little girl full of energy, it's hard to fathom how Lakyn-Ray ended up so close to death.

Her parents Leroy and Sose Auloa took their daughter to Middlemore Hospital almost a month ago with flu-like symptoms.

She was initially diagnosed with pneumonia but her condition rapidly deteriorated.

Harrowing reality of measles: Pictures show nine-month-old's battle for life
Photo credit: Newshub.

After her lungs collapsed, specialist surgeons from Starship Hospital rushed to Middlemore to perform emergency surgery. 

The family was told she could come out of the three-hour operation with brain damage or never wake up again.  

"It just sucks the lungs out of you. The air out of your lungs. I mean, what do you do?"

Babies can get their first MMR jab at 15 months or in Auckland that age has been brought down to 12 months. But for younger ones like Lakyn-Ray catching the virus can easily become and life or death struggle.

There are currently more than 1000 cases of measles confirmed in Auckland. 

Leroy and his wife have chosen to speak out about the agony of seeing their daughter on life support, in the hope it'll send a clear message about vaccinations.

"People really need to start taking it seriously. It does have a real big effect and it could cost your child's life," he says.

Lakyn-Ray has thankfully responded to treatment at Starship Hospital and will likely go home on Monday. 

She is expected to make a full recovery but doctors are fearful other babies might not be so lucky if measles cases continue to spread.


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