OUR BABY WAS KILLED BY A KISS
Tot thought to have caught lethal virus from cold sore
A HEARTBROKEN mum and dad have issued a stark warning to other parents after their baby girl was killed by a kiss.
Little Kiara was just 14 days old when she died from the herpes simplex virus.
Kelly Ineson and fiancé Thomas Cummins say doctors believe their daughter got it off a well-wisher.
Kelly, 30, is now warning parents to not let other people embrace their tots.
She said: “Doctors have told us Kiara most likely contracted the virus through someone kissing her.
“We were always so careful, not letting anyone near her if they seemed poorly or hadn’t washed their hands. We’ve been asked if we remember anyone with a cold sore kissing her, but we don’t and we would never have let that happen.
“I’ve been going over every little detail of what happened, desperate to find an answer as to exactly what happened, but I don’t think I’ll ever get one – and that’s what’s killing me.
“I never in my worst nightmares imagined a kiss could kill my baby, and I don’t want any other parents to go through this.”
Kiara fell ill at 10 days old. Kelly and Thomas, 26, took her to hospital where doctors said she had contracted a strain of the herpes simplex virus.
It is highly contagious and commonly known as the cause of cold sores or genital sores in adults – but it can be fatal to a baby.
Kiara was placed in an induced coma to give her a chance to fight. But Kelly and Thomas were told that even if she pulled through she would probably be badly brain-damaged.
Kelly said: “We begged doctors to do what they could but it was no use. We were essentially told that we’d be waiting for her to die. I couldn’t hear any more. I just broke down, running down the corridor screaming until I collapsed.
“It was incredibly hard but in the end we agreed with the doctors to let her go with peace and dignity rather than prolong her suffering.
“Our family all came to say goodbye, then left us two with her while all the machines keeping her alive were removed one by one.”
With the support of the Herpes Viruses Association, Kelly is warning of the dangers of letting people kiss their newborn babies and how devastating the virus can be.
Kelly, who has three other children, said: “It can destroy lives. Kiara should be getting ready for her first Christmas but instead we have to struggle with all these unanswered questions. All we can do is take it one day at a time.”
Marian Nicholson, director of the Herpes Viruses Association, said: “Please don’t kiss other people’s babies. “You might be one of the people who has cold sores that are so mild you haven’t noticed them, yet your mild infection could be transferred to a new baby.
“Catching cold sores before the baby is six to nine months old can be serious as their immune systems aren’t well developed.
“Mothers with cold sores should not worry about kissing their own babies, because during the last months of pregnancy, a mother who has had cold sores passes protective antibodies for this virus to her baby through the placenta.
“If mum has not had cold sores herself, then a dad with a cold sore should not kiss his baby.
“Also, dads need to be careful not to pass on the cold sore virus to mums in the last stages of pregnancy because by then it may be too late for her to develop the antibodies her baby needs. Then the new baby will have no protection when it is born.”
DAILY STAR SUNDAY SAYS
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■ TRAGEDY: Kiara in hospital. Left, with parents Kelly and Thomas