Scarlet’s Story - Part 1:  Her First Shots & The NICU

Age: Birth - 2 months old


In October 2013, little miss Scarlet California W. was born perfect at 37 weeks + 2 days, weighing in at 5 pounds, 1 ounce, and 18 inches long, having APGAR scores of (8) at 1 minute and (9) at 5 minutes. We had planned a c-section after a partial ‘placenta previa’ caused intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) [1, 2]. 


When she was only 24 hours old, the nurse gave her the Hepatitis B vaccine [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] & the Vitamin K1 shot [10, 11]. Within hours after injection, her skin went from a healthy pink to pale and mottled. She started having trouble eating, became very lethargic, and had trouble staying awake to feed. Hours before she had been latching okay and breastfeeding fine. She had her first apnea event that night and stopped breathing in her sleep [5, 12, 13, 14]. I thought for sure she was dying of SIDS and called the nurse in haste to attend to her. She started breathing when I picked her up, so they did not take any further action. They just told me to keep an eye on her and call them if it happens again. She had awful jaundice, worse than the other babies from what our nurse said (most likely from toxic overload to her liver), and was not gaining enough weight. We received lots of phototherapy (light) and a lactation consultation. Since there was an improvement with light therapy, and the weight loss did not exceed 12% of her body weight, there was not a good enough reason to admit her to the NICU at that time. After a 5 day stay in the hospital, we were sent home with pediatric follow-up visits and the diagnosis of “Small for Gestational Age.” 


When we left the hospital, Scarlet only weighed 4 pounds and 12 ounces. Her arms were so thin they reminded me of a chicken wing, and I was afraid to break them when changing her clothes. I would keep her propped-up in the bouncer chair right next to my bed and stay awake at night just to make sure she was breathing. Over the next three weeks, we went to the pediatrician weekly to make sure she gained weight. Which she was - very slowly. The doctor told me to flick her foot to wake her up during feeds because she was so lethargic during feeding time. I was rather put off by the idea of foot flicking but desperate to try anything that would help. During this time, her stomach started slowly blowing up like a balloon [7, 8]. The veins made it look like her tummy was cracking. The doctors gave us gas drops and advice to go to the ER if she has no dirty diapers in a 24 hour period.


Eventually, we went to the ER because she stopped making dirty diapers for about 24 hours [15]. We were immediately transferred by ambulance to our local children's hospital (because a helicopter was unavailable) where she was x-rayed, diagnosed with an unknown bowel obstruction, and promptly admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Her breastfeeding was stopped, and she was placed on an NG tube to suction her tummy, and a PICC line was placed in her arm to deliver IV nutrition called Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN). A standard method of feeding in hospitals that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. 


While in the NICU, it took 12 days of interventions for her bowels to sort out and finally pass stool. In the meantime, they tested for the birth defect, Hirschsprung disease (HSCR). This disorder is characterized by the absence of nerve cells (ganglion cells) in a segment of the bowel in an infant. The absence of ganglion cells causes the bowel muscles to lose their ability to move stool through the intestine (peristalsis) [16]. She tested negative for Hirschprung’s via rectal suction biopsy. However, due to being backed up for so long (despite stomach pumping and enemas), she started showing signs of pneumatosis intestinalis on her x-rays [17], which leads to a deadly intestinal infection called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) [18, 19, 20]. Once it gets to stage III, your body is fighting sepsis. On the Modified Bell Staging Criteria of NEC, Scarlet had reached Stage 2A, the third of six stages [21]. Luckily she was already right there in the NICU with IVs inserted and doctors waiting. So, the surgeon recommended two strong antibiotics, an ileostomy to help rest her bowel, and exploratory surgery to check for ganglion cells throughout the colon (again). Which, if were missing, indicated a definite diagnosis of Hirschsprung's disease (missing nerve cells in the intestinal tissue) common in preemies [16]. And, even though she was born full-term, she was still tiny.


On the morning of November 11th, 2013, we handed our baby over to the surgeon. Dr. Saenz was able to perform the surgery and found ganglion cells throughout Scarlet’s intestine and colon length. He also placed two stomas and a tiny ostomy bag on her tummy. They couldn't tell us how or why her bowel obstruction happened. So I pressed them further to keep looking. They did a cystic fibrosis genetics test, which came back negative. Every path we explored was a dead end. Why did her bowel stop in the first place? They just kept saying she was born small. I wasn’t okay with the final answer of origin being idiopathic. At the time she was admitted to the hospital, she was only three weeks old and was 100% breastfed with no other substance in her body except her shots (Hepatitis B & Vitamin K). Since breast milk stimulates maturation of the intestine and stands as the gold standard for healing intestinal inflammation [22], the only remaining factors were her small size and the shots she received after birth. 

I spoke with our NICU doctor, Dr. Speziale, and the NICU head, Dr. Evans. They were concerned about whether or not she could have heavy metal poisoning [5, 6, 9, 23]. I didn’t understand. Metals?! How could that be? What did they mean? The doctors were back and forth on whether to do chelation therapy (an IV therapy to remove metals from the body) because Scarlet was so small and fragile. There was even talk about the news headline that reported on a boy in Florida who was five-years-old and had died from chelation therapy, so everyone was cautious [24, 25]. At that time, I had no idea what chelation was. I had no idea vaccines had metals in them or that they can contain toxic ingredients. These ingredients can include (but are not limited to); Aluminum, Mercury, Formaldehyde, Glyphosate, Polysorbate 80, Human Fetal Cells, Monkey Kidney Cells, Bovine (Calf) Serum, and so many other things [6]. The FDA set a limit on aluminum allowed in bottled water at 20 mcg/L, which means infants are injected with 15x’s the FDA daily allowable limit when given the Hep B shot [6, 9,].


Additionally, I knew nothing about how c-section births affected the babies’ gut microbiome and immune system and how, after so many “hits,” this system can break down. I’ve since learned so much about how the physical, mental, emotional, and chemical stress loads can add up pretty quickly for a tiny baby until it hits a tipping point causing a cascade of chronic health issues to ensue [26, 27]. 


Now I know that I should never have given any medicine without learning the risks and reading the package insert for ingredients and reactions [5]. I never saw a package insert and was denied one when I asked for it. The science was not presented to me in such a way so that I could research it thoroughly. And, I hate to admit it now, but at the time, this entire conversation about metals and chelation with the doctors in the NICU went well over my head. Later, I would have horrible PTSD flashbacks and nightmares about that conversation. I’d replay it over in my head, thinking “what if” we had decided to chelate or test for heavy metal toxicity. I think at the time, we all did the best we could with what we had. 

If I had known better, I could have advocated better for myself and my child. While pregnant, I tested negative for Hepatitis B, and it was in my medical file, so she never even needed this shot to begin with because she was never even at the risk of exposure from me. Hepatitis B is not endemic in the US, and less than 1/2 of one percent of mothers who give birth to babies in the US, have hepatitis B disease. Also, while exploring the package insert, I read that the Hep B shot should be deferred for preemie babies under 2,000 grams. My child weighed 2,296 grams, while an average 8-pound baby weighs 3,639 grams. Additionally, the Hep B shot can also cause sleep apnea in preemie infants and tummy aches, bloating, and GI disease [5]. So maybe if we were informed better, we would have chosen better for our baby.


Using the MedAlerts search engine, as of July 31, 2018, there have been more than 94,535 adverse events reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis B containing vaccines [28]. Approximately 50% of those serious Hepatitis B vaccine-related adverse events occurred in children under three years old, with about 1,637 deaths occurring in children under three years of age [28]. Of the vaccine-related adverse events reported to VAERS, there were 2,210 related deaths, 13,853 hospitalizations, and 3,499 related disabilities [28].




[1] Stanford Children’s Health - Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR): General Information


[2] Intrauterine Growth Restriction Alters Mouse Intestinal Architecture During Development. - JANUARY 8, 2016

“We speculate that this abnormal intestinal development may constitute an inherent "first hit,” rendering IUGR intestine susceptible to further injury, infection, or inflammation.”


[3] CDC Recommended Pediatric Immunization Schedule

“The CDC recommends that all infants be vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine beginning at 12 hours of age.”


[4] Hepatitis B Overview  (Why do they give babies this shot?)

“Individuals at highest risk for hepatitis B infection are those who engage in risky behaviors such as illegal IV drug use, prostitution,... and people who have received blood transfusions using infected blood. The primary reason that the CDC recommended hepatitis B vaccination for all newborns in the United States in 1991 is that public health officials and doctors could not persuade adults in high-risk groups (primarily IV drug users and persons with multiple sexual partners) to get the vaccine.”


[5] FDA Package Insert - Injection ENGERIX-B (Recombinant) Hepatitis B Vaccine  (What your doctor won’t give you)

“Section 5.3 Infants Weighing Less than 2,000 g at Birth: Hepatitis B vaccine should be deferred for infants with a birth weight <2,000 g. Section 5.4 Apnea in Premature Infants: Decisions about when to administer an intramuscular vaccine to infants born prematurely should be based on consideration of the infant’s medical status. Section 5.7 Altered Immunocompetence: Immunocompromised persons may have a diminished immune response to ENGERIX-B. Section 5.9 Limitations of Vaccine Effectiveness: may not prevent infection in individuals who do not achieve protective antibody titers. Section 6.1 Clinical Trials Experience: All subjects were monitored for 4 days post-administration. Gastrointestinal Disorders: Abdominal pain/cramps, constipation. Section 6.2 Postmarketing Experience: Vascular Disorders; Vasculitis. Respiratory Disorders; Apnea. Gastrointestinal Disorders; Dyspepsia. General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions Injection; site reaction. Investigations; Abnormal liver function tests. Immune System Disorders; An apparent hypersensitivity syndrome (serum sickness-like) of delayed onset has been reported days to weeks after vaccination. Section 11 Description: Each 0.5-mL pediatric/adolescent dose contains 10 mcg of HBsAg adsorbed on 0.25 mg (250 mcg) aluminum as aluminum hydroxide. 13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility; ENGERIX-B has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential or impairment of male fertility in animals. 17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION • Inform vaccine recipients and parents or guardians of the potential benefits and risks of immunization with ENGERIX-B. • Emphasize, when educating vaccine recipients and parents or guardians regarding potential side effects, that ENGERIX-B contains non-infectious purified HBsAg and cannot cause hepatitis B infection. • Instruct vaccine recipients and parents or guardians to report any adverse events to their healthcare provider. • Give vaccine recipients and parents or guardians the Vaccine Information Statements, which are required by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 to be given prior to immunization.”


[6] CDC - Vaccine Excipient (Ingredients) List  (What your doctor probably doesn’t know)

“Hep B (Engerix-B): aluminum hydroxide, yeast protein, sodium chloride, disodium phosphate dihydrate, sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate.” Each 0.5-mL pediatric/adolescent dose contains 10 mcg of HBsAg adsorbed on 0.25 mg aluminum as aluminum hydroxide. (As stated above)”


[7] Hepatitis B vaccination and adult associated gastrointestinal reactions: a follow-up analysis - NOV-DEC 2002

“Hepatitis B vaccination was statistically associated with gastrointestinal reactions, including hepatitis, gastrointestinal disease, and liver function test abnormalities in comparison to our control groups. “


[8] Aluminum enhances inflammation and decreases mucosal healing in experimental colitis in mice - MAY 7 2014

“Deleterious effects of aluminum on intestinal inflammation and mucosal repair strongly suggest that aluminum might be an environmental IBD risk factor.”

[9] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry - TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR ALUMINUM

“Aluminum has no known physiological role in the human body (Nayak 2002)”


[10] FDA Package Insert - Injection AquaMEPHYTON® (PHYTONADIONE) Vitamin K1

“WARNINGS: Benzyl alcohol as a preservative in Bacteriostatic Sodium Chloride Injection has been associated with toxicity in newborns. Adverse Reactions: Hyperbilirubinemia has been observed in the newborn following administration of phytonadione.”


[11] - The Vitamin K Shot is NOT Just a Vitamin…

“A young baby isn’t able to process or filter the synthetic Vitamin K shot, and it can cause liver toxicity from the benzyl alcohol (this is why you see jaundice in babies who get it). The blood also turns extremely thick, making it hard for those stem cells to do their job (makes their blood about 7,000 times thicker than normal). It also contains Polysorbate 80, which is used in chemo drugs TO OPEN THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER.”


[12] The United States has the highest first-day death rate in the industrialized world - APRIL 30 2013

“The United States has the highest first-day death rate in the industrialized world and an estimated 11,300 newborn babies die each year in the United States on the day they are born. his is 50 percent more first-day deaths than all other industrialized countries combined.”


[13] Babies born in America are less likely to reach their first birthday - JANUARY 9, 2018

“Babies born in America are less likely to reach their first birthday than babies born in other wealthy developed countries. U.S. babies were three times more likely to die from extreme immaturity and 2.3 times more likely to experience sudden infant death syndrome.”


[14] Our prescription drugs kill us in large numbers - OCTOBER 30, 2014  (What if your Doctor refuses to provide the insert?)

“Prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States and Europe. Around half of those who die have taken their drugs correctly; the other half die because of errors, such as too high a dose or use of a drug despite contraindications. Our drug agencies are not particularly helpful, as they rely on fake fixes, which are a long list of warnings, precautions, and contraindications for each drug, although they know that no doctor could possibly master all of these. We should take far fewer drugs, and patients should carefully study the package inserts of the drugs their doctors prescribe for them.”


[15] Seattle Children’s Hospital - Constipation (Pediatric)


[16] National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) - Hirschsprung Disease


[17] Pneumatosis intestinalis: a review. - APRIL 1998

“The most common and most emergent life-threatening cause of intramural bowel gas is the result of bowel necrosis due to bowel ischemia, infarction, necrotizing enterocolitis, neutropenic colitis, volvulus, and sepsis. Pneumatosis, often linear or cystic in appearance, is seen with increased frequency in patients who are immunocompromised because of steroids, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or AIDS (or even vaccination). In these cases, the pneumatosis may result from intraluminal bacterial gas entering the bowel wall due to increased mucosal permeability caused by defects in bowel wall lymphoid tissue.”


[18] What causes necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?

“The cause of NEC is not well known. NEC involves infection and inflammation in the child’s gut, which may stem from the growth of dangerous bacteria or the growth of bacteria in parts of the intestine where they do not usually live. Full-term infants who get NEC almost always do so because they are already sick or, in some cases, have low body weight for their gestational age.”


[19] Necrotizing enterocolitis in full-term infants. - JULY 2003


[20] Necrotizing Enterocolitis in the Premature Infant - SEPTEMBER 2, 2013


[21] Modified Bell Staging Criteria for NEC - 2003


[22] Human Breast Milk and the Gastrointestinal Innate Immune System - JUNE 2014


[23] The Truth About Aluminum and Vaccine Ingredients: What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know? JUNE 2014


[24] Boy Dies After Controversial Treatment for Autism - AUGUST 2005


[25] Risky alternative therapies for autism have little basis in science - NOVEMBER 22, 2009


[26] Brain maker, Dr. David Perlmutter - APRIL 2015


[27] The Healing Self, By Deepak Chopra M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi Ph.D. - JANUARY 2018


[28] National Vaccine Information Center - MedAlert Information for Hepatitis B on/before July 31, 2018




[A]  World Health Organization:  INFORMATION SHEET 


Find Us

Scarlet's Kids Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity TIN# 47-5355300.

All donations are 100% tax deductible        © 2015-2021 Scarlet's Kids Foundation Inc.

  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok