Parents of Kelsey Smart calling for government to bring in meningitis vaccine
THE parents of a five-year-old who died from meningitis are urging the government to make a vaccine to protect against the deadliest form of the disease available to all children.
Hannah and Jamie Smart of Hanham, whose daughter Kelsey died last February, are uniting with other families whose lives have been affected by the disease to support Meningitis UK's new Meningitis B: Beat It Now campaign.
The drug, Bexsero, is the first Meningitis B vaccine licensed for use in the UK and could save thousands of lives, especially among the under fives, who are most at risk from the disease.
Meningitis B, the most common form of the disease in the UK, affects about 1,870 people each year and every week six people, many of them children, die of the disease.
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Despite undergoing an operation to remove fluid on Kelsey's brain, the disease had taken grip and nothing further could be done for her.
Mr and Mrs Smart made the brave decision to donate their daughter's organs so up to six other children could be helped.
Mrs Smart said: "We have a three-year-old son, Jayden, and it's a continuous worry when he's ill and even when he's well.
"Kelsey was fit, healthy and bright so meningitis can strike at any time.
"A vaccine would save other parents going through what we are going through. If the government had to live in my shoes for just one week, they would release the vaccine straight away."
To support Meningitis UK's Meningitis B: Beat it Now campaign, please www.meningitisuk.org/beatitnow.