“Our lives were turned upside down and torn apart in the early hours of Wednesday 9th March.
Our daughter, Mia, was just coming up to 18 months. She was such a happy, smiley little girl, who lit up any room she walked into with her bright red hair, gorgeous big blue eyes and gorgeous smile - she was full of life.
“We had so much love for her, so many plans - day trips, holidays, family get-togethers - as we watched her grow. She had grown such a strong personality, she was our world and we were so happy
“On Tuesday 8th March she was sick, but this had no smell to it as we had just had dinner on the way back from Manchester. We put it down to her being warm in the car.
“She was still running around and playing with her toys when we called to see granddad, but she had become a bit warm and started to develop a temperature, so we gave her calpol and ibuprofen. Mia had a previous history of fitting, but, after visits to hospital and doctors, they put it down to viral and febrile convulsions due to temperature.
“So, that night we were making sure we got her temperature down so that she didn't fit. She was still happy to play in between short naps. At 10.15pm as we went to bed, I noticed a small red spot that looked like the start of chicken pox on her ribcage. I said to Matthew, ‘I bet she's getting chicken pox’.
“We put Mia in bed with us and at 2.15am she woke up asking for a drink. I said to Matthew ‘she feels warm, go downstairs and get her some calpol’.
“I then saw that she had purple blotches all over her little body. I screamed to Matthew ‘we need to get her to hospital, I think she's got meningitis’.
“At this point Mia was still responsive, I was talking to her all the way in the car and she was looking at me and still responsive. When we arrived at hospital the nurse looked, took us in and the doctor took us straight to resus. They said she was really poorly and all the doctors were rushing around frantically, but this just wasn't enough and we had lost our precious little girl to meningitis B.
“If she had been given this vaccine we would probably still have our little girl and we would not be in this horrible place where we are now. This should not have happened. The meningitis vaccine should and needs to be given to all children under the age of 5.
Matthew Bright and Becky Barton, Mia’s parents