Paul Gentry lost his daughter, Izzy, to meningitis in May 2016. Izzy had contracted Men B and was sent home from hospital before being rushed back in but sadly it was too late and she lost her life at 16 years old.
Izzy was the first of two pupils at St Brendan’s College in Bristol to die from Men B in the last eighteen months – George Zographou being the second, tragically passing away at a music festival in August 2017.
Ever since Izzy’s death, Paul has been campaigning in her memory and on 12 October he met with Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy in Parliament to discuss his campaign and find out what more could be done. As a result of Kerry's pressure on the Prime Minister, Theresa May, during Prime Minister's Questions, a meeting with the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, was arranged for 1 November 2017. The family of Layla-Rose, a 6 year old who died of Men B this February, will also attend.
Paul is looking to raise further awareness of meningitis among not only the public but health professionals too. Izzy’s meningitis symptoms were missed and gross negligence was ruled by the coroner. Izzy’s case is now used for training and new policies have been put in place at Bristol Royal Infirmary where she died. Paul also wants the Men B vaccine to be rolled out to teenagers due to their being the second most at risk group of the disease. After the sad death of Faye Burdett in February 2016 and the record breaking petition that followed, it was proposed by the government that a Men B teenage carriage study would be conducted. Eighteen months later and this carriage study has still not begun. In their meeting with Jeremy Hunt, Kerry and Paul will look to gain answers on this and suggest what else can be done.