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Riddlesden Mother raises awareness of disease that killed daughter
A mum whose young daughter died a year ago from a form of blood poisoning has vowed to continue campaigning to help prevent other parents going through the same horrific ordeal.
Andrea Walker has been raising awareness and money for the Meningitis Research Foundation following the death of three-year-old Ellie on January 14 last year.
A post-mortem examination and initial tests failed to establish the cause of death, exacerbating the agony for Mrs Walker – a Keighley town councillor – and the family, but it was eventually put down to streptococcal septicaemia.
“I’m still grieving for Ellie and it’s been a difficult year, but I’ve done my best to keep my mind occupied,” said Mrs Walker, 47, of Bar Lane in Riddlesden.
“I’ve thrown myself into my council work and into supporting the Meningitis Research Found-ation, both of which have helped ensure I’ve kept busy.
“Talking about things rather than bottling it all up has also been a help to me.”
She embarked on the awareness and fundraising campaign with support from friend, Andrea Steel, who was Ellie’s godmother.
Information was distributed through a stall in Keighley’s Airedale Shopping Centre, and they sold badges and wristbands, raising more than £100.
“There was very good feedback and I talked to a lot of people about meningitis – it was a positive experience for me and I hope it has helped other people be more aware of the condition,” said Mrs Walker.
“I’m certainly planning to continue with the efforts this year.”
She added: “With Ellie there were none of the obvious symptoms – she had a bit of fever and a runny nose, but we just put that down to the start of a cold.
“I want to put the message out to parents that if they’re in any doubt, they should get their child checked out. I don’t want others to have to go through what I have been through.”
Visit meningitis.org or download a free iPhone app from bit.ly/MRFapp for further information about symptoms.