Mum urges MMR jabs for all after daughter dies 10 years on from beating measles

Video report by ITV Granada's Simran Johal.

A grieving mum is urging parents to ensure their children get the MMR jab, after her 10-year-old daughter died of a rare complication of measles caught as a baby.

Renae Walker was five-months-old when she fell ill with the virus and too young to be vaccinated against it.

The youngster, from Salford, seemingly recovered and showed no lasting ill effects. She was later given the MMR as part of her routine vaccinations.

10 years on, Renae began to suffer seizures, hallucinations and problems with her speech and movement. Doctors eventually diagnosed Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE) - an inflammatory brain disease triggered by a previous measles infection.

SSPE can take years to reveal itself and there is no treatment. Renae died last month.

Devastated mum Becky lost her daughter years after the youngster seemingly recovered from measles. Credit: ITV News

Mum Becky believes if more children had been vaccinated, at the time Renae was a baby, her daughter would not have caught measles before she was old enough to get the MMR.

"I wouldn't want another family to go through this," she told ITV News.

"The more kids that are vaccinated, it'll lessen the spread of measles. Obviously, she was too young when she got ill to prevent what's happened.

"Preventing her getting the measles in the first place could've saved her life."

Renae suffered her first seizure, caused by the rare complication, while at school. Credit: Archer family photo

"She couldn't do anything she was supposed to do and all her motor functions were just struggling," said Becky.

"Each day she lost more functions and then it got to the point where she couldn’t eat, keep her eyes open, she couldn't speak and then she went into the ICU.

"They explained what it actually was and that there was no way to treat it and it was going to be fatal."

Public health expert, Dr Helen Wall, says higher uptake of the MMR jab stops "community tranmission" of measles. Credit: ITV News

The World Health Organisation's target for uptake of the MMR vaccine is 95 per cent, which then provides what is known as herd immunity. It means viruses, like measles, do not get an opportunity to widely circulate.

Public health expert, Dr Helen Wall, says that high uptake is crucial to protect those who cannot be vaccinated for various reasons - just like Renae when she was a baby. Right now, she told ITV News, uptake in Greater Manchester stands at around 85 per cent.

Dr Wall said: "The reason the WHO set that 95% target is because there are people in our community who can't have the MMR vaccine.

"So, if you're under one years old you can't have it yet. If you are ilmmuno-compromised, you won't be able to have the vaccine because it's what we call a live vaccine.

"By keeping that uptake high, we stop it circulating in our community and we stop what we call community transmission - being passed from person to person - and that protects everyone."

Renae's loved ones do not want anyone else going through their ordeal. Credit: Archer family photo

Renae's family hope that by speaking about what happened to her, more parents will get their children vaccinated.

"She was cheeky but really well behaved," said mum Becky.

"She was brilliant at school. Always higher than expected. My best friend, my right arm."

Renae's family will be doing a hike in her name to raise money for Ronald McDonald house where her family could stay with her during her time on the ward.