08:00 Thursday 13 September 2012

Be 'MeningitisWise' plea from Katie's mum and dad

Written byROB SMYTH

A COUPLE who lost their daughter to meningitis have urged people know the symptoms of illness as part of Meningitis Awareness Week.

Katie Peach
Katie Peach

Sara and Kevin Peach, of St John’s Drive, Newhall, are encouraging people to be ‘MeningitisWise’ after going through every parents worst nightmare when they lost their three-year-old daughter Katie last year.

Meningitis Awareness Week, which runs from next Monday until September 23, is making people aware that meningitis and septicaemia affect around 3,600 people in the UK and Ireland annually.

Mr and Mrs Peach told the Mail: “What started off as seemingly a normal winter bug escalated into something so much more serious in such a short space of time.

“Everyone did everything they could to save our daughter Katie’s life but sadly it was not meant to be.

“She spent one day short of two weeks fighting meningococcal septicaemia before she passed away with her family around her.”

Katie was initially taken to Royal Derby Hospital, before being transferred to Queen’s Medical Centre, in Nottingham, for specialist care in December last year.

Doctors told the distraught parents they were not expecting Katie to make it through the next day and they could do nothing but prepare themselves for the worst.

Despite this, the brave youngster fought on for another week, eventually passing away on December 20.

The week-long campaign is trying to gain support for the UK Government to pursue the widest and earliest implementation of vaccines to prevent all types of meningitis and septicaemia.

Chief executive of Meningitis Research Foundation Christopher Head said: “There is currently no vaccine for meningococcal B disease which is responsible for the majority of cases of the disease in the UK and Ireland.

“However we must remember that vaccines do not prevent all strains of meningitis and septicaemia yet, so it’s vitally important that the people of Derbyshire remain aware of the symptoms.”

More information is available by visiting www.meningitis.org

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