[back] Hepatitis B vaccine

February 02, 2009

How Important is Hepatitis B Vaccination at Birth?

Age of Autism

Managing Editor's Note: Below is the tale of Ian Gromowski, a boy who lived 47 days after his at birth Hepatitis B vaccination. Thank you to his mom Deanna for sharing her agonizing story with us. I am proud that Age of Autism is here to publicize stories like Ian's. (And there are many more stories. I'm thinking of a darling girl in NJ named Gianna who succumbed to her vaccinations.) Autism One Radio featured Ian's story last week. Download Deanna GromowskiFINAL

Deanna and her husband have a healthy baby boy named Vance. Deanna is now battling thyroid cancer. You can read more of Ian's story here: www.iansvoice.org

By Deanna Gromowski

There are days I cannot believe what happened to my son Ian Larsen Gromowski. 

It almost seems as though it was a bad, horrible nightmare that I cannot wake up from.  My name is Deanna Gromowski and I am just a mom. 


I live in Wisconsin and have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology  from UW-Milwaukee and my husband Scott has his bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from UW-LaCrosse.  I work in Human Resources and he decided to get a 2nd degree in Fire Science and is now a full-time fire fighter.  We dated for 3 years and then got engaged and a year later married in Hawaii in 2005.  We decided to hold off on children for the first year to enjoy married life. 

We ‘did everything right in life’, we planned and prepared and educated ourselves about all our major life decisions. 

Then June 25, 2007 and our son Ian was born completely healthy.  Well, there was a slight mishap at birth and it is very common.  Ian swallowed meconium (his stool) as he came through the birth canal.  He was originally brought back to our room with us, but then the nurses noticed he was having trouble breathing.  

The meconium is like tar and it was in his lungs.  So Ian was admitted to the NICU, discharged the next day to our room, but yet again went back because he hadn’t worked all of the meconium out quite yet.  Scott and I were worried, as new parents, who wouldn’t be, but we knew it was common and we were told this many times.  Some babies need 2 to 3 weeks to work the meconium out of their lungs. 

Ian was having a hard time getting this tar worked out, but you cannot imagine our JOY when the doctors told us on his 5th day of life, June 30th, 2007, that he would be able to go home.  All he needed was his hearing test and his Hepatitis B vaccination.  


We couldn’t wait for both of them to happen so we could go home.  Looking back Scott and I get frustrated because we weren’t really given an option about the vaccine.  We were told to sign a form (in which we were not given any instructions on vaccines) and I remember it seemed strange because the form we signed didn’t have an area for a parent signature, the nurse had to physically write in “Parents Signature” and “draw a line”.  Hardly seems professional or right, but I signed it anyway.   I look back on that form to date and still get sick to my stomach. 

Ian was given his Hepatitis B vaccination on July 1st, 2007 even though he was fighting off the meconium, even though he had a fever ABOVE 100 degrees on June 30th, and even though he had a fever above 100 degrees the day of July 1st they STILL VACCINATED HIM.  It states on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website this : “Some people should not get hepatitis B vaccine or should wait.

Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to baker’s yeast, or to any other component of the vaccine, should not get hepatitis B vaccine. Tell your provider if you have any severe allergies.

• Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine should not get another dose.

• Anyone who is moderately or severely ill when a dose of vaccine is scheduled should probably wait until they recover before getting the vaccine. Your provider can give you more information about these precautions..”

So how are parent’s to know if their child is allergic to baker’s yeast?  Do you want to just risk it?  I would consider Ian moderately ill because he was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and still had a fever.  Shouldn’t the experts know this information.  Isn’t it there job?  Well, that is all hindsight and immediately after Ian was vaccinated the following happened:

FACT: After receiving the Hepatitis B shot these symptoms also appeared:

• Platelets dropped from 248,000 to 131,000 – severe thrombocytopenia
• Scalded-like rash appeared
• Seizures noted
• Irritable, crying non-stop
• Stopped eating
• Viral-like symptoms

His pictures speak a million words.  Within 12 hours of his vaccination he had the rash, within 24 hours the severe thrombocytopenia set in, and then he was in a fatal state from then on.  NO DOCTORS, NURSES, STAFF would even consider the vaccination as the source. 

Nothing else happened, no medicines of any kind because he was supposed to be going home!  It even lists on the CDC website that 1 in 1.1 million have a severe reaction and on the Merck website it indicates that thrombocytopenia is a typical reaction of a person with a vaccine reaction.  Why didn’t they know this?  Why wouldn’t they consider the vaccination?  It is possible.  It even states so on the form from the CDC that they were SUPPOSED to give us and didn’t!!

Ian lived for 47 days.  My son suffered nearly his entire life.  Look at the pictures.  Imagine watching your child going through this pain and not being able to do anything.  No one would listen to us….we are just parents, what do we know?  We didn’t leave his side for one moment.  We lived at the hospital, literally.  I couldn’t save my first born son, I couldn’t make the ‘ouchie’ better.  I sat there day in and day out and watched this vaccination destroy his organ one at a time. 

But I want you to know that Ian was an old soul.  He had a peaceful presence about him.  He received edema massages 2 times a day for his swelling and he loved it!  The therapists said most babies in his situation do not do well with massages, but he was relaxed, peaceful, and accepting.  He fought so hard.  He is the strongest person Scott and I have ever met.  He took our admiration to a level we didn’t know existed in the world.  He was and is our little Sunshine, but more importantly he is OUR HERO.

We now are blessed with another son, Vance.  Vance shares his brother’s blonde hair and has blue eyes that glisten like the sky.   Vance is almost 6 months old and Vance is not vaccinated yet.  Pending on the future of vaccines, we don’t know if he ever will be.  Hopefully Ian’s story will touch the lives of others including people who care for children.  His case is not as rare as one would think.

Ian Larsen Gromowski
June 25, 2007 - August 10, 2007

Birthplace:   Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
Resided In:   Brookfield Wisconsin USA 
Funeral Home:   Max A. Sass & Sons Funeral Home   
Visitation:   August 14, 2007   
Service:   August 14, 2007   

Gromowski, Ian Larsen

Returned safely to the arms of Jesus on August 10, 2007.  Precious son of Scott and Deanna Gromowski.  Cherished grandson of Lawrence (Pamela) Gromowski and Gregory (Anita) Lehrkamp.  Beloved great-grandson of Eugene Gromowski, Patricia Larsen and Bill Betlinski.  Loving nephew of Paul (Amy) Gromowski and Melissa Waszak.  Further survived by other relatives and many amazingly dear friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tues. Aug. 14, 7:30 PM at ST. JOHN VIANNEY CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1755 N. CALHOUN RD., BROOKFIELD.  Visitation AT THE CHURCH on Tues. from 6 PM until time of Mass.

Special thanks to the NICU nursing staff of St. Joseph�s Hospital and Children�s Hospital.  Ian was a fighter with a strong spirit.  He will be forever loved and never forgotten.

Mommy and Daddy love you more than you will ever know. 
You will always be our sunshine.


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This is heartbreaking; I am so sorry for these parents :*(

You know, I look at these pictures of how horribly Ian suffered and I think of all those horrible, scary pictures of vaccine-preventable diseases that they liked to hang in the immunization room at the military clinic my kids used to go to. You know, the awful ones of kids in Third World countries with neonatal tetanus and those rare cases when chickenpox covers the entire body?

I wonder if they would ever post pictures like THIS of a vax reaction up on their walls to help parents make an informed decision? I doubt it.

Thank you for sharing your sad BUT TRUE story of your son....and your family. I am truly at a loss for words....however you story has really touched me.

I am a mom of a four year old FULLY vaccinated Girl and a FOUR month old UNVACCINATED boy. I didn't learn about the dangers of vaccines until after my daughter was vaccinated. SHE, THANK GOD, didn't have any bad reactions, however, SHE HAS been VERY VERY sick for her whole life. FROM ear infections, to acid reflux, cold after cold after cold. WE have been in the hospital with her FIVE times already!!!! I TRULY believe that ALL these VACCINES Weaken their immune system.

NOW this Manditory FLU SHOT!!?!? ITS gone too far.

I did turn down the Hep B shot for my son in the hospital. I MADE sure I PUT it in writing before I went to the hospital. Thanks to advice from my Girlfriend. I HANDED it to the Doctor BEFORE my son was born.

I do not plan on vaccinating him until he is at least one years old.......IF AT ALL.

GOOD luck with your new son. I LOVE HIS name!!! :)

STAY strong through your own battle. Im sure you will do fine. YOU have a WORLD of people praying for you!!

Up is down, and black is white. This world is insane.

We are about to put my son to bed (late night for him - Mario Kart rules) - tonite he'll get an extra kiss on the head for Ian.

That's the closest I can get to finding words for this brave family.

Form the bottom of my heart and soul thank you for sharing your story about an amazing strong Angel.
His story will stop so many children from suffering.
God bless you
I saw the top picture about 5 minutes before I had to go on a conference call last night -- to say I barely held it together is an understatement.

Then to deal with all the bureaucratic denials in today's IOM meeting. Every time I went to post a comment, I had to confront that beautiful little angel's swollen body and I couldn't help but think, "I'm so sick and tried of all this crap! This little boy DIED because of the incompetence of health officials" and yet there they sat, totally obsessed with *protecting the herd* come hell or high water!

This only solidifies my drive to make sure no other child is killed/injured by challenging the insanity every chance I get.

God bless Ian. His 47 days on this earth will NEVER be in vain. Not while I still have breath in me.

Scott,Deanna and Vance -- thanks for sharing his short but precious life with us.


Deanna and Scott,

Thank you for having the courage to speak out and share your family's tragic story. I hope there is comfort in knowing that your son has touched countless others. His testimony will most certainly save immeasurable others the same fate. I cannot begin to imagine your grief. Please know you are thought of and prayed for and that the gift your son has given the world is beyond precious.

The Wessels

This morning I could not post as I was overcome with tears and heartbreak for your family. There are no words to convey......A baby so beautiful and so tiny should not have had to go through so much in his short life. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you battle yet another difficult journey. I am humbled by your thoughts of others needs to share your experience, you are truely brave parents. Much love to you, and God bless!
I thank you for your story. While I do have a vaccine induced autistic son, my older son, who on record had bronchitis or ear infection within 7 days of every vaccine, also had Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura at 2.5 yrs old... I never knew to this day until I read your story, that Merck identified this as a vaccine reaction. My son's hemotologist at the time, a top Dr. at Miami Children's Hospital brushed the ITP diagnosis off, saying he saw 2-4 patients a month with it and IVIG therapy would fix it. Hindsight is 20/20 that 10 yrs. later we would stumble into autism with our youngest son after a severe vaccine reaction at 1 yr old. It shakes my soul that all of these "reactions" can be listed on websites and not documented when they happen. I had 10 yrs. to identify that my third child might be at risk to vaccine injury, but the web of lies was too thick.
Like nhokkanen and Angela said, we will certainly be thinking about and praying for Deanna as she fights her cancer battle.

Deanna, I hope that you will keep our community posted as you battle and beat cancer! I am sure you will channel that warrior spirit you have for Ian toward your own recovery.

With Love and Great Respect

This is the most difficult post to read that I've ever seen here. And, yet, it is one of the most important. This is one courageous couple for sharing their story. I hope their future is filled with only good things.
Kim, please tell Deanna that she is in our prayers as she undergoes cancer treatment. Her son's sad story reverberates so powerfully that it takes time for one's brain to process the additional tragedy -- that now she is dealing with her own health struggle. May the medical profession respond far more productively to this crisis.

I saw an interview a while back where David Kirby said that the reason Doctors give hep b at birth is because even after the mother test's show negative, their is a window of time just prior to birth that they say men often have the urge to cheat so they must play it safe and vaccinate.

Dear Deanna,

Just when I think that I've heard so many heartbreaking stories that there just couldn't be
anything sadder, I find something that leaves me without words.

I can't imagine your personal loss. Please know your story will touch thousands. Ian's brief life
had a purpose.

God bless you and your family.

Anne Dachel
Media editor
Chippewa Falls, WI

I hope you know how brave and wonderful you are for telling your story. I have friends that lost their 2 month old and others that lost a 15 month old who would never come out and tell their stories. I don't understand it, but it's their way of dealing. You're amazing for having the strength to do this to help others.
My son was also damaged by HepB. He got the one in the hospital and they started the series over in the office, so he got 4 total. My pediatrician says this happens all the time. These 4 shots were the only ones he had that had 25 mcg of thimerosal, others may have had trace amounts. He was born in 2000. He has been diagnosed with encephalopathy and mercury toxicity. How could that have happened any other way than from the vaccines? For a disease he never would have gotten. For a disease that he's protected against until he's somewhere around 12 years old. UNNECESSARY. He's sick because of GREED.
Again, thank you for your strength. I have no idea who I'd be if I'd lost my son. I feel luckier today than ever that he is still with me. Please know that Ian's story saved some other child's life today. Probably more than one.
My prayers are with this family.
The greatest travesty is that Hep B is a screenable, sexually transmitted disease.
Blood or sex and good at best for 7 years.
Thank you for bringing your pain out in public.
Maybe it will save future Ian's.
Your son was beautiful.
Why don't docs test babies for this allergy before administering the vaccine? Or test Mom for Hep B to see if the baby needs it at all? Not sure how that would be considered radical, and yet, they don't.

Toughest post I've ever put up = and I've run over 2000 of them here at A of A. Every photo that went up, I had to walk away from my compute for a moment.

I got a wonderful email from Deanna thanking everyone. She is an amazing Warrior Mother.



You know the river I've cried for you and your family and for the pain that Ian endured. Your little man stole my heart.

You are a Warrior for Ian and countless children. The only way this insanity will ever end is if we continue to speak out about what has happened to our children. Ian paid the ultimate price, but his life was not lived in vain because of your bravery and willingness to share.

I know you are a Warrior Deanna. You are now a Warrior for yourself, and you are gonna kick cancer's ass lady! You are in my prayers every day.

Love ya!

Deanna, sorry for your devastating loss. There is absolutely nothing I could tell you to alleviate your pain.

But these things need to be told and be made public. My son had a severe reaction to the MMR shot, developing high fever within 12 hours of the shot and a full body rash days later that lasted for weeks. When the rash got bad enough we ended up getting him to the ER, were a lousy just-out-of-school doctor at 5am treated it just like a common cold. The following day his former pediatrician completely rejected this reaction as being the result of his shot. What was the cause then? Does this stuff just happen? We were never told of what might have possibly been the cause and, from the ped answers, you could tell she wasn't about to find out. I think she knew well enough what it was.

As Deanna says in her story "NO DOCTORS, NURSES, STAFF would even consider the vaccination as the source." That is the scariest part of all, that it goes unreported as if it never happened, and so it does happen again and again. How can you trust any stupid number given by a pediatrician to lighten vaccination risks? Do you really think that the MMR risk of adverse reaction is as low as they tell you when most cases go purposedly unreported?

We are talking about medical professionals deliberately avoiding calling things by their name. Vaccine reactions become something else and, strange enough, when they happen no other cause is ever investigated. It's like they know exactly what it is but they corporatively take it as collateral damage that should not be reported, to avoid growing mistrust in the vaccine program. Like someone commented on one of these posts, after vaccine damage occurs dostors behave like OJ Simpson in pursuit of the real killers. Why is it a taboo to report adverse vaccine reactions? How can you put any trust into a medical system that allows this to happen? In a state of mass denial on the part of doctors, nurses, Are we really the insane ones? They say we are just hysterical parents, antivaxers by selfish choice - Are you kidding me??

The vaccination program as we know it is coming down at an exponential rate, and they are bringing it down themselves: the vaccine pusher zealots and interested parties. I say that in the highly unlikely event that an epidemic should occur due to lower vaccination rates it should be blamed squarely on the CDC and the AAP. If you want people not to trust the vaccine program you could not have done a better job.

Oh, Deana. There are no words. I am so sorry for your loss.

But I am also grateful for your story. You have given me an answer I have searched for forever.

That rash! That scalding rash! My daughter developed that rash at 2 weeks old on her face too! It started as a dot on her cheek and exploded into a hot, red, burn all over her cheeks and head! I'd post the picture here if I could!

I've never heard anyone else here or elsewhere say that happened to their child, so I never knew what to make of it. We were told it was "contact dermatitis", and even though I knew that wasn't close to what it was, never got a difinitive answer. I always knew it was the first sign of something very wrong.

Thank you for the answer I've been seeking for years. It was the Hep B she got at 2 weeks old.

God bless you and your family.


I would like some folks from the wackospehre to look at what happened to this healthy, gorgeous baby boy and still tell us to our faces that vaccines don't harm. That it's for the "greater good", et all.

What a tragic, tragic thing to have happen to such a beautiful little boy and his loving parents....my heart is broken for you both.

My tears flowed and flowed as I read this story. How strong and courageous you are for sharing this story here and your website to help even one child and their family avoid this anguish.

A vaccine should NEVER even enter the door of the NICU. My son was in the NICU for five days at birth for some breathing problems. He advanced quickly, but was never in my room with me. On the fifth day they gave him the Heb B and released him from the NICU to go home. He was diagnosed with moderate ASD at age 2.

There is a REASON for babies to be in the NICU. They are "moderately to severely ill" and shouldn't be getting the Heb B, according to the CDC!

This madness must be stopped. THANK YOU for all you are doing to help end this madness. God bless you and your precious family.

My heart is breaking. Just breaking.
You know how I feel about Ian and his message. I'm thinking of you girl. Hang in there.
What you've done with iansvoice.org is so important because Ian is the voice for those that either don't have one (like my Riley) or the children that never had a chance to have a voice. You are a strong mom, a warrior mom.

Thank you for sharing your story. It is a tragedy that never should have happened and it is utterly disgraceful that every medical professional involved in your son's care is not held accountable for this, nor will change what they are doing. It is mothers like you who fight for your own kids and everyone elses so that parents can become more educated and understand the implications of vaccinating at birth or while a child is ill (among other things).

Thank you.

Deanna, thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. I'm speechless. My only daughter became severely autistic after her 15 month vaccines, and not a day goes by that I don't recall her horrible reaction and regression that week... but that pales to the horror that your family experienced.

God bless all of you,