Sompting mum raising meningitis awareness

THE devastated mother of a toddler who died from meningitis is holding a sponsored walk to raise awareness of the disease.

Jodie Hancorn's daughter Mariah died suddenly last year after developing meningococcal septicaemia.

Jodie, who works at Southdown Squirrels Day Nursery, in Squadron Drive, Worthing, said she wants to raise awareness of meningitis as she thought her at 13-month-old daughter was protected because she had been given the vaccine for the C strain of meningitis.

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Different strains

"I thought I had done everything right, she had all of her jabs and I thought she was safe," said Jodie, of West Street, Sompting.

There are a number of different strains of meningitis, a disease which causes inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

There is no vaccine for meningitis B, which is the most common strain in this country.

Jodie, 20, said: "My aim is to raise awareness of this disease because we literally lost Mariah overnight and it was devastating.

"Parents need to know that meningitis is a killer and it can't be completely protected against."

Heartbreak

Jodie said Mariah was very sleepy and lethargic the night before she died, but she had no other symptoms.

She added: "It has been heartbreaking and I'm still coming to terms with it."

Jodie and her fianc Simon Dunk, 22, have organised a sponsored walk to raise money for Meningitis UK along Worthing seafront on May 16.

The three-mile walk will go from Alinora Avenue in Goring to Marine Gardens and back, starting at 11am.

There will be a picnic afterwards.

Anyone who would like to participate should arrive from 10.30am.

Staff and parents of children from Southdown Squirrels will also be taking part in the walk, which is expected to raise 3,000 for the charity.

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