WAUKESHA, Wis. (WITI) – A disturbing mystery has claimed the life of a young girl.
Meredith Prohaska was an active, fun-loving 12-year-old girl.
Her family says she loved swimming and playing basketball at Butler Middle School.
“Vibrant, full of life, she was our sunshine. Everywhere I go, everything I do, I see her,” said Rebecca Prohaska.
Prohaska told WITI that she took her daughter to the doctor for a sore throat.
While there, she received the first round of a routine shot.
“She got her first HPV vaccine at around 10:30, 11 o’clock that morning,” she said.
After getting home, Meredith wanted to sleep but Rebecca kept waking her up.
Around 3:30 p.m., she says she went to get her daughter food and came home to a tragic scene.
“I came back and I found her on the floor,” she said.
Rebecca, who is a 14-year veteran EMT for the National Guard, performed CPR on her daughter after calling 911.
After arriving at the hospital, 12-year-old Meredith was pronounced dead.
No one can say why.
“It was the hardest thing when they called and said they don’t know. There was no reason. She was the healthiest 12-year-old,” she said.
A rare potential side effect of the HPV vaccine is an allergic reaction.
However, Meredith’s autopsy report ruled her cause of death as inconclusive.
“The only thing different about that day was that shot. I wish I would’ve known more about it before I agreed to it,” she said.
“I’m a tough guy. I can take a beating, but this has ripped a hole in my heart,” Meredith’s father, Mark Prohaska said.
Now, the family has a warning for others.
“Be aware of every possible side effect, and make sure you’re hugging them all the time because you never know when you’re just going to be left with pictures,” Rebecca Prohaska said.