Meningitis campaign success for Weston mum

PUBLISHED: 18:00 04 April 2015

Claire Middleton with her children Edith and George.

Claire Middleton with her children Edith and George.

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A WESTON mother's efforts campaigning for more meningitis vaccinations has been successful.

Claire Middleton, a local ambassador for the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF), wrote to health secretary Jeremy Hunt to plead with him to give the go-ahead for a vaccine against meningococcal B (MenB).

She took part in the MRF’s #WheresOurVaccine social media campaign, having witnessed first-hand the impact meningitis can have.

Claire said: “I supported the campaign because our daughter Edith was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and septicaemia at the age of 36 hours in 2013.

“She had been home for 12 hours when she became ill and the only symptom she had was a very high temperature.

“She was taken from Weston to Bristol Children’s Hospital in an ambulance with flashing blue lights and when we arrived she had a lumbar puncture, bloods and was started on antibiotics.

“She looked like she was going to die and it was so hard not being able to hold her. She spent a night in PICU and after 12 hours showed signs of improving. She was discharged 14 days later and has made a full recovery.”

Claire wrote to Mr Hunt, plus prospective parliamentary candidates in Weston, in a desperate bid to get the new vaccine approved.

MenB leads to death in 10 per cent of cases and MRF members have welcomed Mr Hunt’s announcement on Sunday that all babies will get the vaccine. The Department of Health has agreed a deal with supplier GlaxoSmithKline which will be implemented ‘later this year’, according to the health secretary.

Chris Head, MRF chief executive, said: “When this vaccine is finally introduced it will save lives and spare countless families the trauma of seeing a loved one die or become seriously disabled because of MenB.

“The bitter experience of those who have been personally affected has been vital in our campaigning for this vaccine, demonstrating the compelling case for prevention.

“We pay tribute to them and pledge to continue supporting them.”

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