Meningitis mum on mission for awareness week
A MOTHER whose daughter almost died after contracting meningitis is urging parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
Carrie Richardson's daughter Georgia showed no signs of being ill until she began to vomit unexpectedly throughout the night in May 2008 and developed a small rash.
Georgia was placed on a life support machine for three days and lost all of her fingers on her left hand to the first knuckle and some of her toes on her right foot.
Georgia, now 6, has been left with a hearing impairment and an under-performing kidney and Carrie is determined to raise awareness of meningitis and septicaemia to warn others of the dangers.
DO YOU KNOW ANYONE SELLING A HOUSE? YOU COULD EARN £350 FOR TEN...View details
YES! You could earn £350+ cash for your leads - Call us or view our video explaining how you can make ££s for 10 mins. work.
See Cash4YourProperty Leads on our website:
Contact: 01482 423525
Valid until: Wednesday, July 31 2013
Carrie, of Howden, said: "I didn't know the signs of meningitis. If I had, I would have got medical help sooner.
"It was horrendous. My daughter was lifeless in my arms, really floppy and she wasn't really breathing properly.
"People need to be aware and carry around a little card the Meningitis Research Foundation gives out for free.
"If you suspect any of the symptoms, don't wait for the rash."
Carrie, 31, is speaking out as part of Meningitis Awareness Week which runs from Monday to September 23.
Georgia was initially treated at Scunthorpe General Hospital but was later taken to Sheffield Children's Hospital.
Carrie said: "Everyone was crying. We were told to say goodbye and we later found out they didn't think she'd make the 30-minute journey.
"I wasn't allowed in the ambulance because there wasn't room, so I followed in an ambulance car. All alone in the back seat, was the most terrifying time of my life.
"I was told to expect the worst. I didn't know if my baby girl would ever wake up."
Georgia's kidneys began to fail and she also needed dialysis.
But despite her ordeal, Carrie said Georgia always has a smile on her face.
She said: "Fingers crossed, she continues to recover so well.
"The doctors say she is very lucky.
"They told us she was the worst case of meningococcal septicaemia they had seen where the child recovered.
"I thank God every day for our precious little angel.
"She is the bravest person I know.
"She loves going back to Sheffield Hospital, which she's renamed Georgia's Hospital, to see the doctors.
"We would like to thank every one who helped save our little girl. There are no words to say how grateful we are."
The Meningitis Research Foundation said meningitis and septicaemia affect about 3,600 people in the UK and Ireland every year.
They are deadly diseases that can strike anyone without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs.
The charity launched a petition last year calling on the Government to pursue the widest and earliest implementation of vaccines to prevent all types of meningitis and septicaemia.
Christopher Head, chief executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation, said: "There is currently no vaccine for meningococcal B disease, which is responsible for the majority of cases of disease in the UK and Ireland.
"Nearly 18,000 signed our petition and this week it has been presented to 10 Downing Street, so thank you to everyone who supported us.
"However we must remember vaccines do not prevent all strains of meningitis and septicaemia yet, so it's vitally important people are meningitis-wise and remain aware of the symptoms."