Eibhlin Grainne Wills was just 12 days old when she died of a rare disease.
The baby had somehow contracted herpes simplex virus 1, more commonly known as the cold sore virus. In Eibhlin’s case it was disseminated neonatal herpes simplex virus 1, which “incubates for a time and results in multiple organ failure,” explains the website that her parents created in her memory.
Eibhlin was born on Nov. 19, 2015, delivered nine days past her due date via emergency cesarean section at The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.
For the first few days, the baby seemed perfectly healthy. Then she began to show some signs to the contrary, as her parents documented on the website:
She hadn’t taken as much bottle as before and that night she was difficult to settle…. As the day went on it appeared she was a bit congested as if she had caught a cold…. As the evening went on she rested and all remained fine until approximately 11:00 that night. She appeared very tired, just too cooperative at nappy time. So as first time parents we had granny come up to check in on her for some advice. Her conclusion, like ours, was that she was a bit out of sorts, and we should bring her to the GP in the morning.
A short time later, the baby's health took a dramatic turn for the worse, and she was rushed to the emergency room. She was diagnosed with the disease that soon killed her. It was exactly one week after she first arrived home.
Although disseminated neonatal herpes simplex virus 1 is usually contracted from the mother, in this case it believed that Eibhlin caught the virus from someone else while she was in the neonatal intensive care unit. The details remain a mystery.
"While we may never know from whom, or exactly when Eibhlin contracted the virus, we know from tests results that the virus was already in her system when she came home from the hospital," her parents explain.
The website honoring Eibhlin was created in hopes that others will not have to endure the same tragedy, by creating awareness about the dangers of HSV/Cold sores and neonates, and by giving tips on how to limit the risks of contracting the virus.