Home MMR Roald Dahl’s Letter to all Parents Skipping MMR for Their Child

Roald Dahl’s Letter to all Parents Skipping MMR for Their Child

by TheVaccineMom

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, BFG, James and the Giant Peach…shall I go on? Some of the greatest books, many turned movies, were written by author Roald Dahl.

What you may not know is that behind all of this great writing, Dahl was suffering through the loss of his eldest daughter, Olivia, to measles.

The author knew nothing else to do but write his feelings out for all to learn from. Dahl’s letter (1986) titled “Measles: A Dangerous Illness,” is reprinted below as found in Newsweek:  

Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.

‘Are you feeling all right?’ I asked her.

‘I feel all sleepy,’ she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.

The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her. That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.

On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunized against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.

It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness. Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunized are putting the lives of those children at risk. In America, where measles immunization is compulsory, measles, like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.

Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunized, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year. Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another. At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections. About 20 will die.


You can see his beautiful daughter in the photo above holding her kitty. Can you imagine losing a child this way–watching your rash-ridden baby slip away from this terrible disease, knowing there’s nothing you can do?

“I feel sleepy,” she said.

“Let that sink in,” says Dahl in his letter.

Today there’s something you can do to prevent this from happening to your child: Vaccinate your littles with MMR. Do it for all of the lost babies around the world and all the grieving parents.

Vaccines save lives.

Those hesitant about vaccines need to read these true stories. Please pass them on!!

Take just one minute and watch this video on the Newsweek website, that can be found HERE.

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