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Devon's mum plea over coronavirus: ' This is what a child on a respirator looks like'

Claire Baker shared this photo of her daughter on a respirator in hospital in the hope that people will heed advice about social distancing. Credit: Devon Live

A Devon mother whose daughter almost died from seasonal flu has issued a plea for people to take social distancing more seriously, warning: "your selfishness could kill."

Claire Baker's daughter Sophie was just a few months old when she caught the flu from visitors to their home in 2016.

It resulted in her fighting for her life on a respirator at Torbay Hospital.

Pictures of people ignoring Government advice by crowding outdoors over the weekend raised Claire's fears about the spread of the disease. Credit: Devon Live

Claire, from Newton Abbot, says the current Covid-19 health crisis has brought back memories of the long nights in hospital.

It comes as Sophie still suffers from a rare health condition and is one of those at serious risk should she contract the virus.

All these people going out to the beach don't realise that even if they feel okay they may be carrying the virus and pass it on to me or my husband.

We can bring it back and someone like Sophie won't be okay. If she catches it she runs the risk of not making it. She already struggles to breathe when she catches a cold.

I know it's horrible and boring but our grandparents went out and they had to fight a war. All we're being asked to do is stay home and watch Netflix.

I'm hoping with the picture I can show what it looks like to see a child on a respirator and how very serious this all is.

– Claire Baker

Sophie has a lifelong condition called campomelic dysplasia, a rare genetic disorder which makes her airways very sticky.

She is the only child with the disorder to survive in the UK in the last 50 years.

As a baby her life was saved by her big sister Kathryn who called 999 because she was worried about her sister's cold symptoms.

It turned out the sniffles were seasonal flu and Sophie was rushed toTorbay Hospital. It took her months to recover.

Sophie with her sister Kathryn. Credit: Devon Live

It was flu season. Everybody was coming round to the house and Sophie got ill with the standard seasonal flu.

We actually lost her twice but she was brought back by our brilliant NHS and her amazing big sister saved her life.

– Claire Baker

Claire has just started a new job and has to go into the office. Sophie's dad is working from home but she spends much of her with her grandparents who live next door.

The family stringently follow guidelines about washing hands and keeping Sophie safe from germs but Claire worries others are not being so careful.

My work have been absolutely amazing but when I come home I'm washing my hands and doing all the right things before I see my daughter.

I'm worried people are not taking this seriously enough. It is absolutely critical that people practise social distancing.

The photo of Sophie in hospital is a direct result of people even then in 2016 not keeping themselves and their hands washed.

It's so important people realise that even if their health is great and they will get through fine that there are families out there who might not.

– Claire Baker