A campaigning mother who lost her young son through meningitis this week warned other parents to look out for the symptoms of the killer virus.
Yvonne Stewart was left “devastated” when her three-year-old sondied from the illness.
And now Yvonne, who lives in Portrush with her husband and three older sons, wants to make people aware of the signs of meningitis and septicaemia during national Meningitis Awareness Week.
‘Our family were left absolutely devastated by our son Jack’s death,” said Yvonne, who is a nurse at Causeway Trust Hospital in Coleraine.
“Jack would have been 18 yrs past in June. He was almost three years of age when he died.
One day we had a normal beautiful little boy and the next he was gone.
“As a nurse I felt so guilty that I hadn’t realized how sick our son was.
“Meningitis is such a devastating disease, not only is it often fatal but it can also leave mental & physical disabilities for those who survive. I constantly strive to raise awareness of this awful disease. ”
In the recent past Yvonne lobbied MP’s at Westminster about supporting the new MenB vaccine anda she also speaks at fund raising events for Meningitis Research Foundation in the local area as well as raising awareness of meningitis in general.
Diane McConnell, Northern Ireland Manager of Meningitis Research Foundation adds: “We’re very grateful to Yvonne for supporting Meningitis Awarness Week. Meningitis and septicaemia are diseases you never expect to happen, but Yvonne’s personal experience really brings home how devasting these diseases can be and why it’s so important to be aware of the symptoms and be prepared to act fast when loved ones, family and friends fall sick. “