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Amelia's story

6th November 2014

Tara’s seven-month-old daughter Amelia Jane Luisa Winfield, from Horsham in West Sussex, had cold-like symptoms, a runny nose, temperature and a loss of appetite. Her GP suggested Nurofen but the symptoms persisted and, when a rash started to appear, Amelia was rushed to hospital

Amelia's story

"The morning of 6 October 2007 my daughter had woken up looking unwell.

She wasn't interested at all in drinking her milk or eating. She didn't look well, so I immediately phoned up the doctors so she could be seen.

Upon arrival about an hour later we were waiting in the doctor’s waiting room to be seen, nearly an hour went past before we were admitted. Inside the doctor’s room she conducted the normal checks – throat, temperature, ears – and she came to the conclusion that Amelia just had a cold.

She said to give her some Nurofen to bring her temperature down and to keep an eye on her and, if needed, to take her to the hospital. Later that day Amelia seemed a little perkier. She was at least starting to drink some fluids. She had been sick a few times, which I thought was a good sign because she was getting it all out of her system."

A turn for the worse

"Later that evening she took a turn for the worse. She was asleep and she lay there looking lifeless, and a rash started appearing over her body. I didn't understand what was happening to my baby.

I went into hysterical mode and phoned the ambulance. Two ambulances arrived and immediately took Amelia. Upon arrival to A and E she had deteriorated further on the journey there. The rash was getting worse.

Her heart had stopped three times, and that's when the doctor was explaining that she had meningitis and it had spread all over her body and into her brain. There was a very slim chance of her surviving.

I then had to make the decision on whether or not to keep her alive. My whole world was crumbling. Why my Amelia? Why me? A few minutes later I was told that Amelia's heart stopped again and they couldn't get her back. She was gone. My first born, my baby girl was gone. I was in total shock."