Grief and anxiety, just days after her son's death, she checked her Facebook page, hoping to read messages of comfort from family and friends.
Instead, she found dozens of hateful comments: You're a terrible mother. You killed your child. You deserve what happened to your son. That's all wrong – your child does not exist.
Confused and perplexed, she closed her Facebook app.
A few days later, she received a text message from someone named Ron. Expect more, Ron warned. Expect more.
The attacks were from those who oppose the vaccine, and this Midwestern mother does not want her name used, fearing that attention would only encourage more messages.
Nothing too cruel
Interviews with mothers who have lost children and with those who spy on anti-vaccine groups reveal a tactic used by anti-Vaxers: when a child dies, members of the group encourage each other sometimes to support each other to go on the mother's Facebook page. The anti-Vaxers then post messages telling parents that they are lying and that their child never existed or that the parent killed them or that vaccines killed the child or a combination of all of them.
Nothing is considered too cruel. Just days after their children died, mothers said they were whores, the C-Word and baby killers.
The mother in the Midwest, who wants to remain anonymous, is not alone.
Jill Promoli, who lives outside Toronto, has her flued off her son. She believes the anti-Vaxers are trying to silence those very people who have the strongest case for vaccination: those whose children have died from vaccine-preventable diseases.
"I know these people are really trying to hurt me, and I understand that they are doing it because they want me to stop," she said.
Larry Cook, founder of Stop Mandatory Vaccination, does not deny that there are such attacks on mothers of dead children.
In an email to CNN, he wrote that members of his group make more than half a million comments each month on the group's Facebook page.
"Any discussion about parents who lose their children after vaccinating the children would be low and the number of members would be even fewer in private message to voice their concerns that vaccines could have played a role in a death, "Cook wrote.
"I do not accept violent behavior or a good tone and encourage myself during the discussion," Cook wrote, adding that anyone who intentionally [s] involved in politics requires forced vaccination, where children are treated by state Vaccine mandates could be further harmed I can expect to push back and resist, along with knowledgeable discussions about vaccine risk in social media comments. "
Cook said some of the more than 160,000 members of his group were targeted for" harassment campaigns "and" the police actually turned up at the doorsteps of my members. "
He added that he had been threatened and added a screenshot of a private Facebook message that says, "Finally found where you live. Finally I can put you in a ball. They are dead. "
Another immunization leader blamed posts on grieving parent sites for "infiltrators" trying to "create fire situations."
"I tell everyone that you are the person with whom They should talk and see those on the other side of this discussion and recognize that they are also interested in children, "said Del Bigtree, Chief Executive Officer of informed Action Network.
During the public comment phase of a recent meeting of the More than a dozen people have talked about their concerns about vaccines over the past month, the US Center for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Some said they or their loved ones were injured by vaccines.
"My older son suffered from documented illness and regression after vaccination," said Jackie Martin-Sebell. "These vaccines are not safe for everyone."
Another spokesperson, Rilei Cherry, said her son developed autism as a result of vaccines. "We owe it to our children to really investigate the long-term effects of vaccines and be honest about what might happen to our children," she told the CDC committee.
The Moms  On May 6, 2016, Promoli put her toddler Jew and his twin brother Thomas to a nap in their home. Jude had a slight fever, but he laughed and sang as he went to nap.
When his mother went to see him two hours later, he was dead. Promoli said the next few weeks were "hell."
"You need to go in and plan a funeral, and somehow find the ability to take steps yourself to go to a funeral home, make plans, and decide whether to bury or cremate your child – it's just like that terrible, "she said.
When an autopsy showed that Jude had died from the flu, Promoli began her campaign to prevent the flu.
Then the online attacks started.
Some anti-Vaxers told her that she had murdered Jude and invented a story about the flu to cover up her crime. Others said vaccines killed their son. Some called it the C-word.
The worst – those who sometimes made her cry – were the posts they pleaded for flu shots so other kids would die from the gunfire and their parents would be as miserable as she was.
"The first time I felt really sick because I could not imagine how anyone could ever make such a terrible statement," Promoli said. "It surprised me in its cruelty, what kind of person does that do?"
Twisted logic, based on scientific lies, does not bother Promoli so much anymore. She continues her campaign against flu shots and persuades Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to publish his flu vaccine.
"I had to grow a very thick skin," she said.
She said that no matter how many nasty messages she received – and she says she has received hundreds – she will continue her campaign.
"The work we do could mean that somebody else does not have to plan a funeral for their toddler, and that's all," she said.
Other mothers have persistently worked despite attacks by anti-Vaxer.
Serese Marotta lost her 5-year-old son Joseph to the flu in 2009 and is now Chief Operating Officer of Families Fighting Flu, a group that raises awareness and prevention of influenza and vaccines.
In 2017, she released a video on the eighth anniversary of her son's death to highlight the importance of the flu vaccine.
"SLUT," a person commented. "PHARMA HURDE."
"May you rot in hell for all the damage you do!" A Facebook user wrote another post.
She says a Facebook user in Australia has sent her a death threat.
"She called me many names I do not want to repeat, and used the conspiracy theories about government and big pharmacy." I replied, "I lost a child" and asked her where she came from and she continued to attack me, " said Marotta, who lives in Syracuse, New York.
Catherine and Greg Hughes, an Australian couple who lost their month-old son Riley to whooping cough, were also abused online. Riley was too young to be vaccinated and relied on the immunity of the herd – vaccinating others – to protect him.