Ipswich: Nobody should suffer heartbreak like ours - mum backs bid to offer whooping cough jab to pregnant women

A YOUNG mum who lost her five-week-old daughter to whooping cough today said it is “about time” health chiefs take action to protect other newborns from the disease.

Chelsea Thompson spoke out following the announcement by the Department of Health that all pregnant mums in the east of England will be offered the vaccination against the condition after cases soared by more than 700 per cent in the last year.

Miss Thompson, of Discovery Avenue in Ipswich, said she is “pleased” health bosses have finally “woken up to the issue”.

The 21-year-old, who revealed she is now 19 weeks pregnant, said she would not hesitate in having the vaccination after all she and partner Todd Haynes, 23, have been through.

Tiny Sarae Thompson-Haynes died at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) on March 21.

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A nasty cough ravaging her little lungs was a sign something was wrong.

But her devastated parents were shocked when days after taking her to their GP surgery in Hawthorn Drive, to the out-of-hours doctors service run by Harmoni and Ipswich Hospital, she died – a victim of the highly contagious condition.

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Miss Thompson said: “This is something that we were fighting for, it is great that it is finally happening.

“Before, like with Sarae, until eight weeks there was nothing you could do to protect your baby from catching whooping cough.

“I have been offered it this time around and will definitely have it.

“I think it should be compulsory, there shouldn’t be a choice.

“This disease spreads and unless everyone is vaccinated then there is a chance other babies will be infected.”

The couple have lodged their official complaints with the three health institutions they visited before medics at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge tested for whooping cough and transferred Sarae to GOSH.

n Have you been affected by whooping cough? Tell us your health stories. Write to health reporter Lizzie Parry at Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail lizzie.parry@archant.co.uk

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