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Mum campaigning to protect babies from deadly meningitis

A Southampton mum, whose baby son survived meningitis, is encouraging parents to get their babies vaccinated against the disease.

Amy Carson knows how important it is to protect your child from the illness and is using Meningitis Research Foundation’s Awareness Week to get the message across.

From the start of September, the UK introduced a comprehensive vaccination programme against meningococcal B (MenB) meningitis and septicaemia for babies. Amy is urging parents to take advantage of it.

Amy, Pete and Oscar Carson Credit: Phillips Photography

Her son, Oscar, was just 6 months old when he was struck by the disease last year:

"I was devastated when the doctors said he had meningitis. Meningitis is something that you read about. Something that happens to other people, not to us. There were times when I thought we would lose him, as he got worse before he got better and it took almost three weeks for us to see any improvement at all.”

– Mum, Amy Carson

Chris Head, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation, says it is vital people are aware of the symptoms. Meningitis can strike anyone, at any time, and there are also vaccination programmes for teenagers and first time university students. Meningitis kills one in ten, and leaves a third of survivors with severe life altering effects such as deafness, brain damage and loss of limbs.

Woman calls for meningitis vaccine to be made available on the NHS

A woman from Farnham who almost died from meningitis has told ITV Meridian she's appalled at delays in introducing a vaccine to save lives.

Last March, a jab which could protect millions of children was approved - but it still isn't available on the NHS because of a dispute over how much it costs.

The Meningitis Research Foundation estimates that there are around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. As many as one in ten of those affected will die.

And a third of survivors will be left with serious, life-long disabilities such as brain damage, amputation and blindness.

22-year-old Amy Davis, who contracted meningitis four years ago, is now urging the government to make the vaccine available as soon as possible.

Mel Bloor reports


Meningitis survivor calls for jab to be approved

A woman from Farnham who almost died of meningitis has told ITV Meridian she's appalled at delays in introducing a vaccine to save lives.

22-year-old Amy Davis - who had to have a leg amputated and a hip replaced - is urging the government to make the jab, which was approved last March, available as soon as possible.

The delay is down to a dispute over the vaccine's cost.

Marathon thank you

As many runners out there will know we are nearing the marathon season and many are in training ahead of the Brighton marathon which takes place in April.

When the race was under way last year, Andy and Emily Squires from Hove had just been told their 8 month old son, Thomas, was suffering from meningitis.

As they watched the crowds from a hospital window, they vowed that whatever happened, they'd take part this year. Charlotte Wilkins has their story.

If you'd like to find out more about Thomas' journey, then go to:

New Meningitis B vaccine trials

Meningitis can have a devastating effect, with possible brain damage and the loss of limbs. Until recently there hasn't been a way of preventing Meningitis B. But experts in Southampton are trialling a new vaccine - before the government decides if it will be used here in the UK.

Around 1870 people contract the infection each year. Many of them children under five or babies. And one in 10 survivors have major physical or neurological disabilities.

The experts at Southampton are still looking for volunteers. So if you're aged between 10 to 18 years of age and are interested you can contact the Meningitis Trial team at the Southampton Research Facility on 023 81204989. Or email:

New vaccine for meningitis B to be trialled

Doctors based at Southampton's university hospitals are trialling a new vaccine that could offer children across the UK “broad protection” against meningitis B.

The study, being conducted at the NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at Southampton General Hospital, will investigate the effectiveness of the vaccine in 50 children and young people between the ages of 10 and 18.

This strain of meningitis, known as serogroup B, is a highly aggressive bacterial infection that causes swelling of the brain and spinal cord and can lead to brain damage or blood poisoning.

Professor Saul Faust is a specialist in children's immunology and infectious diseases at Southampton General Hospital and has worked on the vaccine.

He said, “This is an extremely exciting study of a vaccine that could prove to provide broad protection against meningitis B, which is the major cause of brain inflammation and blood poisoning in the UK."

A new vaccine for Meningitis B could be groundbreaking Credit: Press Association


Paralympian raising awareness of Meningitis

A paralympian and his family are trying to make sure we're all aware of the signs of meningitis.

Aaron Phipps was 15 when he went to bed feeling unwell. By the next morning he was in hospital on a life support machine - his family were told he wouldn't survive.

But the wheelchair rugby player beat the odds - despite losing both legs and most of his fingers. Andrew Pate went to meet him and his family.