A Family's Unthinkable Loss: 15-Month-Old Passes Away 2 Days After Routine Vaccinations

January 17, 2024

Melody Rain Palombi-Malmgren, a joyful 15-month-old from Orange County, met an untimely and devastating end just two days after her routine well-visit vaccinations in October. Her mother, Katherine Palombi, described Melody as a happy toddler who loved to dance, cuddle, and bask in the simple joys of childhood.

In July, Melody celebrated her first birthday, but her vibrant life took an unexpected turn after her 15-month well-visit to the Herbert Kania Pediatric Group in Warwick. Katherine Palombi recalls the shocking event when, without any warning signs, Melody stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest just 48 hours after receiving three routine vaccines.

The tragic incident unfolded on a day that started like any other. Melody's grandmother, caring for her that day, performed CPR as instructed by 911 while waiting for paramedics. Despite the efforts of emergency medical personnel and hospital staff at St. Anthony’s Hospital, Melody's life could not be saved.

Hospital records obtained by News 12 revealed that Melody suffered from liver and kidney failure, along with cardiac arrest. The family sought answers, reaching out to the Herbert Kania Pediatric Group, but they declined to comment on the matter.

According to Melody's medical records, she received three vaccines for varicella, DTaP, and Hib. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends up to 10 vaccines for 15-month-olds. The National Center for Biotechnology Information notes that allergic reactions to vaccines are rare, with an average rate of 0.22 per 100,000 doses for immediate reactions in children and adolescents.

Melody's autopsy is pending, but her mother, Katherine Palombi, points to a previous hospitalization at two months old with a high fever and body rash after routine vaccines. Physicians then attributed the symptoms to a virus rather than an allergic reaction.

Palombi believes that both instances of vaccination may have been overwhelming for Melody's delicate system and urges parents to trust their instincts in medical decisions for their children. In the midst of her grief, she hopes to raise awareness in Melody's name, emphasizing the importance of informed decision-making to prevent similar tragedies.

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