By, Sarah Dillingham
On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, Catie Clobes of Howard Lake, Minnesota brought her normal, healthy 6-month-old baby girl Evee Gayle Clobes to her well-baby checkup, whereupon the pediatrician declared her to be in “perfect health” with no problems or concerns. After Evee was examined by her pediatrician, the nurse administered the standard 6-month doses of Pertussis, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Polio, and Pneumococcal vaccines via Prevnar and Pediarix injections. On the evening of Thursday February 28th, Evee was unusually sleepy when Ms. Clobes put her to bed on her back, and checked her at approximately 11:00 p.m. On Friday March 1st at 7:00 a.m., Ms. Clobes discovered her daughter on her back, lifeless and not breathing, and called 911. Evee was rushed to Buffalo Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
The Anoka County Medical Examiner assured Ms. Clobes on the day of her daughter’s death that “every test” would be performed, and confirmed that the vaccines administered approximately 36 hours prior to her death would definitely be investigated as a possible cause. The medical officer told her that infant deaths were taken very seriously, and she trusted that.
When Ms. Clobes followed up with the Medical Examiner’s Office in subsequent weeks to confirm that necessary tests were being performed to definitively confirm or rule out vaccine injury, including tests to measure critical proteins, enzymes, serum levels of adjuvants, and markers for inflammation, she was told that “it’s not medically necessary, there is no medical reasoning, and it’s not medically approved.” She was informed that vaccines are not a “medically accepted” cause of death and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, defined as the unexplained death of an otherwise healthy infant) would appear on Evee’s autopsy report as the determined cause of death.
Evee’s family finds this determination unacceptable in absence of complete data. With the help of friends in their surrounding community, the Clobes family launched a fundraiser to commission a private autopsy and have currently raised the $5,000 needed to perform an autopsy at an accredited independent lab. They have also raised funds to retain an attorney. Evee’s family is actively working through their grief to understand the cause of Evee’s death and learn why the County Medical Examiner’s Office refuses to carry out its duty in this investigation. They have one request of their fellow citizens: Remember Evee and ensure that she and so many other victims of SIDS are treated with care and dignity by their doctors, the CDC, and the Medical Examiner’s Office.
No family should discover in their grief following the death of a loved one that the Medical Examiner’s Office refuses to investigate all possible causes of their loved one’s death, and be left to bear the burden of privately commissioning an adequate and thorough medical examination. When a patient dies after receiving any medical procedure, prescription or over-the-counter drug, or if there is any indication of recreational drug use or accidental injury, comprehensive tests are performed to confirm or rule out any and all of these potential causes of death. Vaccination is the only frequently indicated potential cause of death for which comprehensive tests are not performed to confirm or rule it out.
There has been an average of 25 SIDS deaths per year in Minnesota over the past decade, and 1,777 SIDS deaths per year nationally.* Despite years of research and countless thousands of private and public dollars committed to investigating the cause these deaths, little progress has been made in understanding them. Willful refusal to run necessary standard tests which could provide valuable scientific data and bring closure and solace to grieving families is unconscionable and inexplicable.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) is a taxpayer-funded federal program established in 1986 to compensate victims of vaccine injuries and their families, which allows a maximum compensation amount of $250,000 for deaths caused by vaccination. The NVICP and the Institute of Medicine, as well as thousands of privately conducted peer-reviewed scientific studies confirm that vaccine injuries can and do cause injuries and deaths in some people. Failure to adequately conduct standard tests which measure scientifically established markers of vaccine injury denies families access to the compensation, closure, and information they deserve.
*Statistics extracted from the CDC Wonder database 2008-2017; data includes SIDS deaths only and does not consider other SUID cases.