Bid to make parents aware of meningitis
A NEW campaign to highlight the dangers of the killer brain bug meningitis has been launched in Ipswich.
It comes after five people in the town –including two babies – died after contracting the disease at the turn of the New Year.
Heading the Meningitis UK campaign are Kesgrave parents Mark and Jenny Smith. They lost their nine-month-old son Taylor to the killer condition last March.
Since losing their treasured baby boy the couple have raised more than �21,000 to help the charity carry out research into a vaccine.
With their 13-week-old baby daughter Erin, the couple joined Steve Dayman, chief executive of the charity at Asda in Goddard Road to launch the week-long initiative yesterday.
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Mrs Smith said she hopes the campaign will urge parents to be on their guard and look out for the symptoms.
The 30-year-old said: “Meningitis hadn’t crossed our radar before Taylor fell ill and we now feel it’s hugely important to help educate people.
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“The mentality is that it won’t happen to them or their family – but it can, and with very little warning.”
Mr and Mrs Smith were woken at 2am by Taylor’s baby monitor. By 5am their beloved baby boy had died.
Mr Smith said: “Unfortunately we didn’t catch it in time. Ultimately, I want Meningitis UK to find a vaccine for meningitis B which is why we’re so committed to fundraising in Taylor’s memory so other parents don’t have to experience the devastation we have.”
Free wallet-sized symptom cards will be available to Asda shoppers and a large trailer will be stationed outside the supermarket outlining the symptoms to look out for. For more information visit www.meningitisUK.org