A 4-month-old baby in Devon, England died suddenly of meningitis just hours after laughing for the first time.
Evan Summerfield was visiting his great-grandparents recently when he started to get sick.
“They took him to the doctors and that was the first and last time he laughed. It's like he left it for us,” grandmother Sarah Summerfield said. “The doctor said he had a virus and gave him Calpol and Nurofen, and said if it gets worse he should come straight back. They went home and put him to bed and he was fine, but in the morning he had a rash from the top of his head to his belly button.”
Evan’s great-grandmother performed a “glass test” on him to determine whether the rash might have just been chicken pox, but it didn’t fade under pressure as it would have if it was something other than meningitis. Summerfield, 38, said baby Evan was rushed back to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The toddler’s parents, 17-year-old Shannon and 19-year-old Kris Adams were both devastated by the sudden loss.
“It’s not right. I should have gone first before my grandson,” Summerfield said. “He was so loved by everyone around him and everyone who saw him would comment on his gorgeous big, blue eyes. He was such a content baby. He had just learnt a new trick of taking his dummy out, and he loved the Simpsons, Iggle Piggle and 64 Zoo Lane - and even used to watch MASH with his great grandad. Everyone said what a brilliant mother Shannon was and Kris was a brilliant father. Even if Shannon just left the room for a second when she came back he would say 'muh' and his big eyes would be beaming.”
Summerfield said her family was shocked by how quickly the illness took their baby boy’s life.
“We're so confused how fast this horrible, nasty illness just takes hold,” she said. “One moment he was laughing and smiling and then, it seems like in a heartbeat, he was so cruelly taken away.”
Following Evan’s death, a family friend launched a fundraising page to raise money for the baby’s funeral and support the family in their time of grief. Any funds raised beyond the funeral costs will go to the Meningitis Research Foundation. To donate to the family's fund, click here.
“We’re not looking to give him a king's funeral, just what he deserves. We’re so grateful to everyone, people have been so kind,” Summerfield said. “We also want to warn people to be vigilant - it’s just shocking. There is a vaccine available now which hasn’t been licensed yet because there are debates over price. But how can you put a price on life, it’s sickening.
“We should be protecting younger generations,” she added, “not having pharmaceutical companies holding them to ransom and arguing over price.”
Source: Daily Mail
Photo Credit: Shannon Summerfield via dailymail.co.uk