“My Emily has been through too much, don’t let The Gift of Life people come talk to me, the answer is no.”
West Bloomfield resident Alicia Stillman said those words on Feb. 2, 2013, as she sat next to her critically ill 19-year-old daughter Emily. The Kalamazoo College sophomore had been rushed to the hospital complaining of a severe and unbearable headache and was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.
Like many parents, Alicia and Michael Stillman sent their daughter off to college ready to learn. They had vaccinated all three of their children against harmful diseases, including meningitis. No one knows how Emily contracted the illness; no one around her displayed symptoms. The strain contracted by Emily is not covered by the U.S. vaccination, but only in Europe.