My grandmother had diphtheria when she was six. It took her a year to recover enough to go back to school. She suffered lifelong side effects, including mental side effects from the high fever. Her mother and aunts spent night after night taking shifts, as it were, packing her in ice to reduce the fever, clearing her throat of the choking membrane that is the hallmark of diphtheria.
It is amazing that the disease did not spread to the other seven children.
It is amazing that my grandmother lived. I feel safe in saying that she would have rather had a vaccination than gone through that horrific experience and lived with the aftereffects. I feel safe in saying that my great-grandmother would have brought all eight of her children to the doctor for vaccinations.
My grandmother was one of the very lucky ones.