Devyn Galmor knew it wasn't just reflux causing her infant son to suffer.
Seeking a second opinion, Galmor took the 5-week-old Cullen to The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center on Sunday after his coughing started.
Galmor and her husband, Levy Galmor, of Elk City, now are waiting to hear whether their son has whooping cough.
“I do not want another mother to see their baby go through what we're seeing ours go through right now,” Devyn Galmor said.
Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes uncontrollable and violent coughing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A pertussis outbreak was declared in Washington in April, with about 3,180 cases reported since July 21, according to the CDC. Nationwide, several states have seen increases in the number of reported pertussis cases.
There has not been an outbreak declared in Oklahoma, and the CDC does not yet list Oklahoma as one of the states seeing higher than usual rates of whooping cough. There have been 34 reported cases of whooping cough in Oklahoma since Jan. 1, said Scott Coppenbarger, a Children's Hospital spokesman.
The Galmor family is working to raise awareness of this disease, which is preventable by vaccine.
Devyn and Levy Galmor spoke Monday at a news conference alongside Dustin and Kristen Smith, who lost their infant son to whooping cough in mid-July.
Kristen Smith said Aiden, who was born in late May, also was diagnosed first with reflux. A week after he was diagnosed, the Smiths took their son to The Children's Hospital where he was admitted to the intensive care unit.
For the next month, the Smiths watched Aiden battle whooping cough.
Dustin Smith said although some families might be against vaccinating their children for various reasons, he hopes his family's story can change their minds.
“The hardest thing you can see is to sit there and watch your helpless child,” Dustin Smith.
A Facebook page called “50 for Aiden” has more information about the Smith and Galmor families. The page can be found at www.facebook.com/50ForAiden.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department offers pertussis vaccines for child and booster shots for adults. Many pharmacies also offer the vaccine.
In the United States, the recommended pertussis vaccine for children is called DTaP, according to the CDC. It's a combination vaccine that protects children against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
The CDC recommends children get five DTaP shots, starting at 2 months old.