It seemed as if they would never stop coughing. The endless, racking, barking coughs, followed by long, desperate gasps for breath, felt as if they would never end. First our son, then my wife and our daughter, went through days of sleepless agony with a condition that started out with the look and feel of a bad cold, but was later—far too late—diagnosed as whooping cough, also known as pertussis. I had a milder case. All I did was cough so badly that my back went severely out of alignment ...

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