A 13-year-old girl died of meningitis and septicaemia after waking up one morning with "grey eyes" and a rash just days after Christmas, her devastated mum says.
Schoolgirl Maisie Dicks died on New Year’s Day – three days after telling her mum Sharon Stokes she was feeling poorly.
Mum Sharon, 38, said she "thought it was just a bug" but by the time she was aware of the severity of her daughter’s condition "it was too late".
She said she called an ambulance after Maisie, of Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, woke up with "grey eyes" and a rash, and her "arms went black within an hour" as her condition quickly deteriorated.
Sharon now wants more parents to be aware of meningitis symptoms so they don’t have to experience the same heartbreak.
Sharon said: "I thought it was just a bug. If she had had a temperature or breathing difficulties, I might have thought differently.
"By the time I knew, it was too late."
Sharon called an ambulance on December 30 after Maisie woke up with "grey eyes" and with a rash.
Sharon said: "Her arms went black within an hour. It was so rapid, it was unbelievable.
"She had meningitis but it was septicaemia at that point. By the time I knew, it was too late. I couldn’t have done anything else."
Maisie was immediately put into an induced coma when arriving at hospital but died two days later.
Sharon said: "I honestly did not believe it would go this way. I thought she was very sick but not that she would die.
"I’m numb. It still hasn’t hit me. Everything she had for Christmas is still in the house.
"She was such a loving, caring person and so grateful.
"Even when we were in hospital, she was thanking me for looking after her and telling me she appreciated it.
"She would do anything for anybody and wanted to help everybody. She was just a really happy child.
"She wanted to go into the army to fight for her country when she grew up."
Meningitis symptoms include fever, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, severe muscle pain, severe headache, stiff neck and a dislike of bright lights.
Suffers can also have convulsions or seizures, pale or blotchy skin, and spots or a rash.
Sharon said: "What I want from this story is for people to be aware of meningitis and especially septicaemia.
"That’s what kills you. I don’t want another family to have to go through this."
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