“Gaylord Howlett was my husband, the love of my life and father to our five daughters Chloe, Megan, Jessie, Lois and Ruby Bluebell and grandchildren Imogen, Jude, Harrison and Poppy.
“He was a very talented hairdresser of 30 years and won loads of awards for his work. He was a very humble, loving and peaceful man, who above everything else loved his family. We always came first, putting aside his needs or career for us.
Feeling shivery and sick
“On Monday 2nd May we were on a family day out when Gaylord started to feel poorly. He was shivery and feeling sick, so we took him home, thinking he had a bug and just needed fluids and paracetamol.
“The next day, Gaylord woke up feeling much better, but had a really bad backache so we cancelled our clients for the day and I made him rest in bed.
“He ate, drank and watched a film with me and started to feel much better. The next morning he felt well enough to take the girls to school, but soon started to feel unwell again.
Worried straight away
“That’s when we noticed a bruise on his knee. I don’t know why, but I felt worried straight away and called our doctors surgery. Although a call with a doctor was booked in for a few hours later, I was worried enough to call NHS 111.
“The operator realised something wasn’t right, and sent an ambulance. When the paramedics arrived they checked Gaylord, and were not concerned about his symptoms apart from the bruise on his knee.
“Once he arrived at hospital, everything happened so fast. It was horrendous. Gaylord was put into a medically induced coma, and fought very very hard for his life. But passed away on 6th May at 6.45pm.
It wasn’t until after he died that we found out that he had had pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia. We were completely heartbroken and devastated as a family.”