Killer illness – we’re here to help says fund
AMENINGITIS charity is offering support to anyone affected by the condition and related illnesses following the tragic death of a Runcorn toddler from a meningococcal disease.
Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) said it was keen to help after it learned that Alfie Coxon, two, of Grangeway, had died in April.
The Weekly News reported last week that the tot was killed by meningococcal sepsis despite having been diagnosed as having an ear infection when he visited Halton General Hospital with his mum Vicky Southern earlier that same day on April 14.
His devastated mother told how he was given antibiotics and released home despite having key meningococcal symptoms of high temperature, a sore neck and cold hands and feet.
She rushed him to Warrington’s A&E unit that evening as he was developing a rash but doctors were unable to save him.
Warrington And Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the cause of death on his death certificate is meningococcal sepsis, which is caused by the same bacteria as meningitis.
Vicky believes he may have had meningitis also. ● It also offered its condolences. The MRF has praised Vicky for sharing her experience.
Rob Dawson, MRF’s director of support, said: “We are deeply saddened to learn about Alfie who lost his life to meningococcal sepsis.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and we are here for them if they would like any support.
“Vaccines are the best way to prevent some types of meningitis and septicaemia (sepsis).
“However, there are not yet vaccines available to prevent all forms of the disease so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms.
“It’s incredibly brave of Alfie’s mum Vicky to share her story publicly.
“Early symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feel- ing unwell.
“Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the rash, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion.
“Meningitis and septicaemia can develop suddenly.
“If someone is unwell with meningitis or septicaemia their symptoms will become rapidly worse.”
Mr Dawson added: “MRF makes sure that nobody has to face meningitis and septicaemia alone.
“Whether you are living with the after-effects of the diseases or coping with the death of a loved one, we are here for you.
“We have many years’ experience of working with people who are dealing with meningitis and septicaemia.
“We are trained and experienced in understanding bereavement as a result of meningitis and septicaemia.’’
He continued: “We understand grief affects everyone differently but we know that talking about your feelings and emotions will help.
“One third of people who survive meningitis and septicaemia will be left with after-effects, some as serious as brain damage, amputations, blindness or hearing loss.
“Anyone with questions about meningitis and septicaemia, or who might need some support, can get in touch with MRF’s free helpline and support team on 0808 800 3344, or email@example.com”
Alfie Coxon and his mum Vicky Southern