Family of teen who died from meningitis holds vaccine clinic - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Family of teen who died from meningitis holds vaccine clinic

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A Limestone County couple is giving back to the community after their teenage daughter died the day after Christmas four years ago.

Talbot and Michelle Elkins are raising awareness to help prevent another family from going through the same loss.

Michelle Elkins' daughter, Jessica, completed an exam at school on Friday December 21st of 2007. She went out to eat with her brother and sister that evening. During their meal, Jessica began to complain of pain.

Michelle took her daughter to the doctor who diagnosed her with flu, but Michelle says Jessica - a junior varsity cheerleader - only got worse.

"It hit her fast. First complaint, her hips and legs. She couldn't walk hardly and ached all over," said Michelle.

Michelle noticed purple marks all over Jessica's body.

She was eventually diagnosed with meningitis and airlifted to Birmingham.

Jessica developed pneumonia; her kidneys began to fail, and the day after Christmas…

"Eventually her brain cells died. She passed away on the 26th. Very tough time for us," said Michelle.

Michelle doesn't want another family to suffer the same loss.

She joined the National Meningitis Association's "Moms on Meningitis" program to help educate other families about the dangers of meningitis and the importance of prevention.

"We would never want this to happen to another family. If we can help prevent it - what we would give to have our child back," said Elkins.

The Elkins two other children have been vaccinated for meningitis.

Jessica died three months before she was scheduled to receiver her shot.

There will be a free vaccination clinic in Athens December 10th from 8 a.m. until noon at the First Baptist Church's Family Life Center on Hobbs Street.

Shots will be given to those ages 11 through 25.

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