Toddler dies of worst case of meningitis for 20 years

Jayden Nel, who died after contracting meningitis
Jayden Nel, who died after contracting meningitis Photo: Family Photo

The parents of a Northamptonshire toddler who died from meningitis are trying to raise awareness of the illness.

3-year-old Jayden Nel went to sleep last Thursday (December 6) as usual but woke up being sick. His family drove him to hospital where he died shortly after arriving.

3-year-old Jayden died shortly after arriving at hospital
3-year-old Jayden died shortly after arriving at hospital Credit: Family Photo

Staff at the hospital said it was the worst case of meningitis they'd seen in 20 years.

The symptoms of meningitis vary but can include a headache, stiff neck and a dislike of bright light.

The Meningitis Trust website lists the symptoms to look for in babies and toddlers:

  • Fever
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Pale, blotchy skin
  • Spots/rash
  • Refusing food and vomitting
  • Unusual crying/moaning
  • Fretful, dislike being handled
  • Tense, bulging fontanelle
  • Neck stiffness
  • Dislike of bright light