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Duke's story

25th June 2015

Rebecca’s son Duke, of Leyland in Lancashire, woke up happy and smiling and waiting for his morning cuddle. He showed no signs of illness during the day but that night his mother noticed a rash on his body

Duke's story

Duke was rushed straight to hospital but meningitis struck really quickly and he sadly passed away the next day. Rebecca tells their story.

“Five-month-old Duke woke up for the day like any other day, happy, smiling and waiting for me to pick him up and give him a cuddle.

In the late hours of 28th February 2015, after no concerning symptoms, a rash suddenly appeared on Duke’s body.

We immediately called for an ambulance and he was taken to Royal Preston Hospital with his daddy, Mark. Mark then called me not long after saying ‘you have to come, the doctors want both of us here’.

Then I knew it was serious and started to panic.

Doctors spent hours trying to stabilise Duke so he could be transferred to Manchester’s intensive care unit as he was very poorly.

At this point I couldn't believe what was happening. I couldn't come to terms with the fact he was fine a few hours earlier and that meningitis can strike so fast."

Five cardiac arrests

“Consultants and nurses were doing everything they could to save our baby. He had five cardiac arrests, one of which was over 30 minutes long. After that I knew he didn't have much chance of survival.

I was holding on to every bit of hope I had. Every minute that passed by felt like hours.

Sixteen hours of battling trying to fight the disease and with five cardiac arrests throughout those 16 hours, the nurses and doctors were doing everything they could to save him.

Sadly, he passed away in my arms on the 1st March 2015.

Duke has left behind a loving family, mummy, daddy and big sister Amelia. He’ll be missed and loved always - our perfect baby Duke William Barton. Rest in peace beautiful boy.

Meningitis Now helped me just by being there and being very supportive. I’m now doing fundraising to say thank you and help others. We are holding various fundraising events throughout the year, one being a walk from Blackpool to Leyland, and another a Family Fun Day on 19th September.”