A PREGNANT mother who was rushed to hospital with an ear infection and later died after an emergency Caesarian may have caught the deadly pneumococcal disease from her own unvaccinated toddler.
Blood tests have confirmed 35-year-old Imogen Petrak, who gave birth to baby Eleanor four weeks early before passing away, died of pneumococcal meningitis.
The Gold Coast mum's 17-month-old son JB, who was not vaccinated, was also unwell in the days leading up to her death.
Tests confirmed the infection was pneumococcal type 19F, which is covered by the pneumococcal vaccine.
This vaccine is on the National Immunisation Program Schedule and should be given to babies at two, four and six months.
The bacteria can spread between people through infected droplets in the air and by touching an infected person.
Imogen Petrak tragically died in hospital. Picture: GoFundMeSource:Supplied
There were 154 deaths from pneumococcal disease in 2004 before the vaccine was brought in for children in 2005. Pneumococcal deaths in children have dropped significantly since the vaccination was added to the NIP but deaths still occur in older people who have not been immunised.
Friend Renee King, who set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Ms Petrak's widower John and her two children, said: "I am completely undone, for babies so small to lose their mother, and husband losing not only the mother of their children but his life partner, his beloved wife ..."
Mr Petrak posted: "I miss my wife so much. Every single plan we had is just erased."
Mr Petrak took their baby girl home on July 21, telling his local paper the Gold Coast Bulletin that "Imogen's biggest dream was to see our daughter and she didn't get to do that".
The community has donated more than $118,000 to the family.
SOURCE: Chinchilla News