Trauma they cannot forget
Skye Baker knows meningococcal disease does not discriminate.
Four years ago, she watched her seven-yearold daughter Sarah battle the deadly B strain, hovering between life and death for days before being one of the few to survive relatively unscathed.
Sarah now has hardwon immunity but Mrs Baker is battling against a shortage of the B strain vaccine Bexsero to ensure her other daughter Ally, 12, is similarly protected.
“I am scared for Ally, I haven’t been able to get it since October,” Mrs Baker said. “She had one dose in August last year but she needs another dose to be covered. You think lightning wouldn’t strike twice, but why wouldn’t it?”
The Castlecrag mum said Sarah’s struggles haunted her. “I could hardly breathe and there was nothing I could do to make her better.
“Sarah is a story for early detection, she has no long-term side effects and we were lucky to get out of it so easy,” she said.
“It passionately annoys me that B is not on the schedule, it’s such a simple thing to do and even if you are callous and looking at the disabled child after the disease, why wouldn’t you vaccinate against something that doesn’t give you a second chance?
“It is panic stations in regard to the W strain but everyone is being complacent about B strain, you never forget it.”
Skye Baker with Ally and Sarah. Picture: Sam Ruttyn