Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Raising Cash in Memory of Little Leyton Meningitis UK as Its Nominated Charity UK after His Son Spencer Died from; PARENTS OF MENINGITIS VICTIM HOPE TO PREVENT OTHER CHILDREN SUFFERING

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Raising Cash in Memory of Little Leyton Meningitis UK as Its Nominated Charity UK after His Son Spencer Died from; PARENTS OF MENINGITIS VICTIM HOPE TO PREVENT OTHER CHILDREN SUFFERING

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDA RICHARDS

A COUPLE who tragically lost their young child to meningitis have spoken about their loss and their pounds 7,000 fundraising drive in his memory.

Kimberley Heath and David Cleaver, from Grasswell in Houghtonle-Spring, initially took their 16-monthold son Layton to the hospital five days before he died because he was under the weather.

Doctors diagnosed bronchiolitis and sent him home the following day having ruled out swine flu.

"Layton appeared to get better on the Saturday and Sunday but when I collected him from my mother-in-laws on Monday he was very sleepy and had cold hands and feet," said Kimberley, 22. "He wasn't himself and slept from 11.30am to 3pm. When he woke up his temperature was through the roof so I got an emergency appointment at the doctors at 4pm.

"The GP was really worried and referred us straight to the hospital. By this point his heart rate was 200 beats per minute and we noticed a pin prick rash was appearing. His temperature had dropped slightly but I think that's because he had been stripped down to his nappy.

"At about 7pm the doctor sent us home, saying Layton's rash was a viral one caused by the bronchiolitis."

By the time his parents got him home, Layton had started to be sick. They took him back to hospital shortly before 11pm, when he was seen straight away and put on a ventilator but sadly it was too late and Layton died at 4.45am.

Kimberley added: "He was covered from head to toe in a dark purple rash by the time we returned to the hospital. He deteriorated so quickly in the short space of time that we had been at home. We're still so shocked. Hopefully other parents will read this and know what symptoms to look out for.

"Layton had a rash, cold hands and feet, was being sick, had a high heart rate and temperature."

United in their grief, family and friends have come together to support Meningitis UK and its Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign to find a vaccine for the Meningitis B strain which killed Layton. Kimberley and David say they have been overwhelmed by people's efforts in memory of their "happy and lively" son. …

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