A MOTHER has released a heartbreaking image of her two-year-old daughter hours before she died suddenly of meningitis as she lobbies the UK government for a vaccine.
Faye Burdett was photographed with a painful rash covering her entire body as she sadly lost her 11-day battle with the infection on Valentine’s Day.
Mother Jenny, 36, and dad Neil Burdett, who are experiencing “a pain you cannot describe” at the loss of their only child, have vowed to help protect other children from the illness.
Faye had a rash over her entire body.Source:Snapper Media
The parents first noticed the youngster was ill with flu-like symptoms on February 2 and rushed her to hospital.
She was released after a number of tests, but her condition got worse and she was rushed to King’s College Hospital in London the next day.
A week later, they were faced with the impossible choice to either let Faye endure multiple potentially fatal limb amputations or let her slip away naturally.
The brave parents made the decision to say goodbye at around 9pm on February 14.
Beauty therapist Jenny said: “After a few days she seemed to have turned a corner but the sepsis started to affect her more and the decision of limb removal was made, but the extent of removal was massive, full leg amputation and one arm and plastic surgery.
“But she was getting tired, her little body consumed by meningitis and 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.
Faye, before she became ill.Source:Snapper Media
“We decided the latter and then watched our little girl slip away and at 9pm February 14 she finally fell asleep forever.
“All this in only 11 days. Play forever in peace Faye.”
Jenny’s best friend Jody said: “Jenny said to me ‘I am in a pain I just cannot describe’.
“I don’t know how many people could have made such a brave decision. It must be the hardest decision in the world.
“I don’t know how anyone can cope.”
In September, babies born on or after July 1 were offered the vaccination as part of their routine immunisation schedule in the UK — but older children like Faye were not included.
There is now a petition (which has been signed by more than 250,000 people) that hopes to raise awareness of the issue in the UK and roll out the vaccination program to all children aged up to 11.
In Australia there are five main strains of the disease, all of which now have vaccinations available (note that the C-strain vaccine available through Australia’s free National Immunisation Program — for children 12 months of age — does not protect against all strains of the disease).
In 2013, Australia became the first country in the world to approve thevaccine for widespread use. However while it is available via prescription it is still too expensive for most people. Like the campaigners in the UK, The Meningitis Centre of Australia is lobbying the federal government to put this particular vaccine on the National Immunisation Program so that it is free for everybody.
You can sign the Australian petition here.
You can also visit The Meningitis Centre to educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of the disease so that it can be quickly recognised.