Seaford mum’s bid to raise awareness of deadly bacterial meningitis

Rachel and Dylan
Rachel and Dylan

A Seaford mum whose son contracted bacterial meningitis as a baby is on a quest to raise awareness of the condition.

Rachel Tuppen’s son Dylan Tuppen-Drummond-Hay, who is now six, was diagnosed with the disease in 2009 when he was just ten months old.

Doctors saved his life and now mum Rachel is organising and taking part in a number of events to raise awareness of meningitis and septicaemia. 
She is also raising funds for international charity Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).

Rachel will hold a Purple Day at Seaford Primary School on April 24 where children will be asked to wear purple and donate £1 to MRF.

She will also take part in the Brighton Big Fun Run on July 25.

Dylan still has some problems due to his illness, but it is not going to stop him taking part in the run with his mum.

Chris Head, from Meningitis Research Foundation, said: “We are extremely grateful to Rachel and Dylan for organising a Purple Day on our behalf. As they are aware meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases which can strike without warning, killing in hours. We rely on voluntary donations to fund our vital work into the prevention, detection and treatment of the diseases and support those affected, so every penny raised from our members holding Purple Days makes a huge difference to the charity.”

Meningitis Research Foundation estimates that there are around 3,200 cases of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK.

A spokesman for the charity said it means every day nine people become ill with the diseases. With one in ten people dying, a death will occur almost every day. A further two people will be left with life-altering after effects as severe as brain damage, deafness and multiple amputations.

The spokesman said on March 28 the UK became the world’s first country to protect babies against meningococcal group B (MenB) when the Government announced that a vaccine against the disease would be introduced into the Childhood Immunisation Schedule. The announcement was made after MRF put pressure on the Government and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to introduce the vaccine one year after it had been recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation with their #WheresOurVaccine campaign, the spokesman said. For further information on fundraising for MRF contact Gemma Windle on 01454 280414, or

Bacterial meningitis can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning), which can be fatal. If you suspect bacterial meningitis, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance. Some symptoms of bacterial meningitis in babies include: a high fever, with cold hands and feet, vomiting and refuse to feed, agitated and not want to be picked up, 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.