Demi-Lee’s story

23rd December 2015

Melanie believed her one-year-old daughter, Demi-Lee, had caught flu when she began to develop a temperature and she seemed sleepy, however, during the night, Demi-Lee began to develop a rash

Demi-Lee letterbox
She had contracted MenB and septicaemia. It took just six and a half hours after a spot first appeared on Demi-Lee’s skin for the disease to take her life.

Heartbroken mum, Melanie, remembers her final hours.

“My partner and I had been suffering with flu and we thought Demi-Lee had caught it from us. She was sleepier, snotty and she had a high temperature, but this came down with Calpol.”

“She was sitting playing rather than crawling around, so we agreed to take it in turns to keep an eye her through the night.”

“Steve, my partner and Demi-Lee's daddy, woke me up at 1:45am to say she had a spot on her face near her mouth. Instinctively I opened her baby grow and vest and found a couple more, so I grabbed a glass to perform the glass test.”

“The spots didn't go so I called for an ambulance.”

“When the paramedic arrived Demi-Lee was standing up in her cot and even said ‘hiya’ to him. But by the time the ambulance arrived she was covered head-to-toe in what I can only describe as what looked like purple bruises.”

“As we were leaving she looked at Steve and said 'daddy' for the first time.”

We held her, willing for them to be wrong

“At the hospital we were told to wait outside whilst they tried to save our little girl. We didn't know what was wrong and the next few hours seemed like forever. I just wanted to hold her and take her home.”

“Eventually a nurse came to find us and told us we needed to come and say goodbye to our little girl as she was very ill and only being kept alive by the machines.”

“We went and held her, willing for them to be wrong and then, just six and a half hours after that first spot appeared, she was gone.”

“Our beautiful one year old princess had died."

Meningitis Now awareness - signs and symptoms baby

Do you know the signs and symptoms?

Knowing the signs and symptoms and acting fast can save lives. Symptoms can appear in any order and some may not appear at all. A rash is often one of the last to appear - do not wait. Find out more