Michelle Obama Discusses Sasha’s Meningitis Scare

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/20/2013 | 02:30 PM EST

First lady uses personal story as cautionary tale on the importance of health care

First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show to rally Americans to sign up for health insurance. During that discussion, Mrs. Obama recounted a health scare, in which her daughter, Sasha, had meningitis when she was a baby.

When Sasha was four months old, the First Lady says she recognized that she needed medical attention. After describing the symptoms, Obama rushed to the hospital to seek care.

“If we hadn’t had insurance and access to a pediatrician and access to a hospital where we didn’t have to worry about the cost of care, if we had waited overnight, if we had postponed acting there’s no telling what the outcome would’ve been,” Obama said. “And that’s why for me, as a mother, I am just, you know, I just can’t put into words how important it is for every American, for every mother, for every person in this country, to have healthcare. Because you just never know what kind of curve balls life are going to throw you.”

The first lady stressed the necessity for outreach and education to get more Americans to enroll for health care, and encouraged those with questions to visit the Healthcare.gov to learn more about the White House’s Affordable Care Act.

Obama also recognized mothers as the ones who “make the decisions about healthcare in their families,” but stressed the responsibility of young adults to take health insurance more seriously.

“So young people owe it to their mothers, to give their mothers the peace of mind to know that they are insured and that they can take care of themselves if something goes wrong.”

(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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