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Meningitis survivors make a splash to raise awareness

A one year old girl from Bath who had to have her limbs amputated because of meningitis joined other survivors today to help raise awareness, and to support the charity which helped them through their darkest days.

It's been just eight months since Harmonie-Rose Allen underwent a major operation to remove her arms and legs. But her family say she continues to be an inspiration.

Victoria Davies reports:

What to look out for if you suspect your baby has meningitis

The NHS advises that every suspected case of meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency.

Babies and young children under five are most at risk of developing bacterial meningitis. Its symptoms usually begin suddenly and get worse rapidly.

A baby or young child with meningitis may:

  • have a high fever, with cold hands and feet
  • vomit and refuse to feed
  • feel agitated and not want to be picked up
  • become drowsy, floppy and unresponsive
  • grunt or breathe rapidly
  • have an unusual high-pitched or moaning cry
  • have pale, blotchy skin, and a red rash that doesn't fade when a glass is rolled over it
  • have a tense, bulging soft spot on their head (fontanelle)
  • have a stiff neck and dislike bright lights
  • have convulsions or seizures

More information can be found here.

Paralysed Gloucester man makes award-winning documentary

Jonathan Brough was left paralysed by meningitis Credit: ITV News Westcountry

A Gloucester man has become an international award winning documentary maker - despite not being able to hold a camera.

Jonathan Brough was left paralysed from the neck down after contracting meningitis on his gap year. But he didn't let the disease hold him back and created a project documenting his life after meningitis.

School children swim for Harmonie-Rose

Donations for a baby who lost all her limbs to meningitis have continued to pour in. Money raised for 14 month old Harmonie-Rose has now reached £150,000. The family say they're overwhelmed by people's kindness and genoristy - which shows no signs of stopping.

A group of school children from Bath are preparing to swim 1,344 lengths of their school swimming pool tomorrow - the equivalent length of the English Channel. The Monkton Combe Prep School students say they were inspired to help Harmonie-Rose after hearing about her in a school assembly.

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Parents receive £150,000 in donations as toddler recovers from double amputation

Doctors thought Harmonie-Rose Allen wouldn't survive Credit: ITV News

The parents of a baby who had both her arms and legs amputated after being struck by meningitis say they've now received nearly £150,000 in donations.

Doctors thought Harmonie-Rose Allen wouldn't survive but, the fourteen month old from Bath has defied all odds and fought back.

The family have received nearly £150,000 in donations Credit: ITV News
Things are looking up! Credit: ITV News

'We need the vaccine': family of Harmonie-Rose speak out on meningitis

Harmonie-Rose's family want to save other children the pain she went through. Credit: Family

The family of a one-year-old girl from Bath who lost all her limbs to meningitis are supporting a campaign to make the meningitis B vaccine available on the NHS more quickly.

Harmonie-Rose Allen narrowly survived Meningitis B. The government has licensed a new vaccine for the disease but for now you can only pay for it privately - it is still not available on the NHS.

The UK has one of the world's highest rates of Meningitis B, which kills more under fives here than any other infectious disease. One in 10 die and at least one in three survivors suffer lifelong after-effects, including limb loss, brain damage, epilepsy, deafness and blindness.

Harmonie's aunt Hannah Hall told us that while it was "devastating" to know there was something that could have helped her niece, the family were determined to change things for other children.

Child dies from suspected meningitis

Microscopic image of bacteria. Credit: ITV News

A 6-year-old boy from Wiltshire has died from suspected meningitis.

Paramedics were called to an address in Highworth on Friday morning and although the boy was taken to Great Western Hospital he died a short time later.

Public Health England have said they are identifying those who had close contact with the child and offering them antibiotics, but that there is no need for wider groups of children to take medication.

They have also warned parents to be alert to the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, including vomiting, a severe headache, neck stiffness, drowsiness and a rash.

We pass our sincerest condolences to the family at this tragic time. It is important to emphasise that the risk of this suspected case spreading to others is extremely low.

We reassure people, particularly parents who may be feeling concerned, that all necessary actions are being taken to protect the public.

– Dr Ayoola Oyinloye, Swindon Borough Council Public Health Consultant
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