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Liam N's story

23rd February 2015

Bereaved Hull mum Claire Newman has been campaigning tirelessly since Liam was struck down by meningitis aged six

Liam N's story

She wasn't aware of the disease's symptoms at the time, thinking he just had a fluey bug.

Claire, 32, said: "He woke up with a bit of a headache on the Friday and had been sick. He also said his little toe hurt. I didn't think anything was seriously wrong. Because he had asthma and fell ill quite easily, I went to the chemist and got some Calpol.

In the evening we saw a bruise on his foot and thought that explained the sore toe. I didn't realise it could be a sign of septicaemia."

Liam then woke up in the early hours of Saturday morning and asked for the doctor because his headache was so bad.

A rash had started

A rash had started to develop when the doctor arrived and Liam was rushed to hospital. Liam died two days later, when his life-support machine had to be switched off, leaving his family heartbroken. He died from the dangerous meningococcal septicaemia form of the disease, which leads to death in a tenth of cases.

It occurs when meningococcal bacteria enter the blood stream and multiply uncontrollably, poisoning the blood and completely overwhelming the immune system.

Claire said: "Unfortunately we didn't catch it in time. It was just like he had a cold until the latter stages of the disease, which is why it's so important people are vigilant to all the symptoms - not just the rash.

Ultimately, I want Meningitis Now to find a vaccine for Meningitis B but until then I'm going to do my upmost to educate people."