Brownsville mother urges immunizations for college students

A meeting of The Immunization Partnership in Brownsville encouraged an open dialogue among members of the community regarding the importance of immunizations.

One person in the UTB classroom taking part in the discussion knows all too well what can happen when a person isn't protected from certain viruses.

"I came here because of my daughter who at 20, struck with Meningitis," said Brownsville native Patsy Schanbaum.

Schanbaum's daughter Jamie was a student at the University of Texas at Austin at the time and fought the deadly disease but found herself battling a flesh-eating bacteria.

"She spent seven months in hospital and lost both her legs and all her fingers," Schanbaum recalled.

Jamie and her mother now have another obstacle to overcome, convincing college students about the potentially deadly consequences of not getting immunized.

"When you get to college kids above the age of 18, at that point they take their lives into their own hands," she said.

Patsy is back in Brownsville joining The Immunization Partnership in their mission and also informing the public about a law now in effect because of hers and her daughter's efforts.

"Me as a mother, with the support of the Immunization Partnership, passed a law called Jamie Schanbaum Act making it necessary for college freshman living in dorms to get their meningitis vaccine," she said.

The near-death experience and now learning to live with prosthetics, has only motivated Jamie and her mother to get their message out to as many college students who will listen.

"She says if one student takes the vaccine, she helped save that person's life," Schanbaum said.