Their two-year-old daughter, Faye, died on Valentine’s Day after fighting meningitis for 11 days. Now, a British couple is sharing the gruesome images of her sickness to raise awareness about vaccination.
Baby Faye fought blood poisoning and, ultimately, lost the fight against meningitis when her parents opted against another invasive surgery on her tiny body.
“She was getting tired, her little body consumed by meningitis and sepsis (blood poisoning). We had to make the decision, a massive operation and she may die or we let her go peacefully on her own accord,” her mother, Jenny, wrote on Meningitis Now.
“We decided the latter and then watched our little girl slip away,” she said.
Faye died at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Her family decided to share photos of Faye in her final moments as a cautionary tale to other parents. In the U.K., the government vaccinates babies between two and five months old.
Warning: Images may be graphic to some viewers.
Faye’s parents are now circulating a petition that would roll out vaccination to all kids, at least up to age 11. It’s already garnered 250,000 signatures with the family’s story going viral on social media.
Right now, the country’s National Health Service (NHS) has a vaccine to protect against meningitis for babies, but it only made it available in September, according to British reports. Parents who want to have older children vaccinated have to pay privately.
Sue Davie, CEO of Meningitis Now, said that the response to the petition has been “overwhelming.”
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“We are using our voice to support the petition to raise the profile of meningitis, keeping it high on the political agenda and increasing awareness among the public to prevent more lives being lost to this devastating disease,” she said.
“Although the introduction of the Men B vaccine on the childhood immunization scheme for young babies was a momentous achievement, saving thousands of lives, there are still so many, like Faye, left unprotected,” she said.
Meningococcal disease is rare, but it’s serious and potentially fatal, especially in babies and kids under five years old, according to Immunize Canada.
It’s an inflammation of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Bacteria then enters the bloodstream and makes its way to the brain and spinal cord. There is no one vaccine to protect against all strains of meningitis.
Its victims could end up with hearing loss, blindness, difficulties with memory or speech and even limb loss.
Read more about the disease here.