Sofia had contracted meningococcal B meningitis and septicaemia but thankfully has made a good recovery. Sarah tells her story here.
"This is our baby Sofia Louise. On 5th December 2015 (at seven months old) she was rushed to Alder Hey Hospital with meningococcal septicaemia. She spent three days on a ventilator in ICU fighting for her life.
“Our beautiful strong baby amazed us all and made a full recovery and was discharged from hospital after seven days.
“Obviously the gratitude we have to every single member of our health service that dealt with us cannot be put into words. From the emergency call operator, paramedics, doctors, nurses, consultants, the list is endless. We are so fortunate to have a fantastic health service that we need to save.
“We experienced first-hand how hard all health professionals work not to mention the unbelievably long hours. We are so thankful and will forever be in the debt to each and every one of them.
“In February 2016 we had a hospital appointment with the consultant, she remembered Sofia when she was brought in and was so happy with how she has come on. I asked if this could have been prevented if the vaccine was available to Sofia. She told me she couldn't say if it would have been prevented but it could have been.
“If this vaccination was offered to Sofia as routine with her other immunisations this heartache could have been avoided. So firstly I would like to say how important it is to protect our children by making sure they have this vaccine, but secondly make yourself aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia.
“The night before she was admitted to hospital she was not herself and we put it down to teething and feeling a little under the weather. When we woke the next morning she was really warm with cold hands, her breathing was different and she was making a whimpering sound.
“As I took her legs out of her Babygro I noticed a faint rash (my first thought was a sweat rash as she was warm. I lifted her vest and she had the rash on her stomach, as I pulled her vest up to her neck I noticed one purple mark and in that second I knew what it was, call it mothers instinct or gut feeling but I immediately phoned for an ambulance.
“Within seven minutes the paramedics and emergency response were working on Sofia. Within 34 minutes she was being worked on by a team in resus. We were told due to the speed the ambulance was called and how quickly she received medical care is why she is still here today.
“We are really lucky, blessed and thankful to have our baby girl home and healthy after the biggest fight of her life".