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Ava Louise McDermott

England Bacterial meningitis Baby 0-1 Bereavement
Ava Louise McDermott

Ten years ago, on 28/09/1995, this little angel was born, Ava Louise McDermott. Becoming a father made me realise that I would do anything to protect my child and that I would give my own life for hers if I could. I am sure a lot of parents can relate to this feeling. 

Only a short 9 months later baby Ava Louise contracted 'Meningitis B' and bacterial meningococcal septicaemia. It was 7am and I had no idea of the scale of what was happening while I was nursing her on the way to the hospital. She had a temperature, she was moaning and had light purple spots all over her body. I didn't know it yet but it was too late. 

"There was nothing we could do - only watch. What can we do to protect her... nothing; I couldn't take her place and all we could do was watch."

Everything escalated so quickly from that point. The nurses and doctors were rushing to get her a drip and there was nothing we could do - only watch. What can we do to protect her... nothing; I couldn't take her place and all we could do was watch. The priest arrived and read her last rights. We couldn't believe this was happening. 

What happened? I thought we would get her some medicine and go home, what's going on here? Ava spent those last few days on life support and passed away a week later. I think about her every day and wish I could have protected her from such suffering. 

Vaccination is the only protection we could have given Ava. There were no vaccinations for 'meningitis B' ten years ago but there are now thanks to the Meningitis Research Foundation. There is more work to do, there are more strains meningitis on the rise. Spread the word and you could save someone's life.

Written by: Ryan McDermott
October 2015

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