Thursday 29 September 2016

BBC’s Matt Dawson reveals he almost lost toddler to meningitis – ‘It was two weeks of hell’

Published 17/02/2016 | 15:55

Pictures tweeted by Matt Dawson of his son Sami suffering from meningitis
Pictures tweeted by Matt Dawson of his son Sami suffering from meningitis

World cup winner Matt Dawson has revealed that he and his wife almost lost their toddler son Sami to meningitis and said his family has been through “two weeks of hell”.

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The BBC Question of Sport star took to Twitter this morning to share images of his child’s battle with meningitis B to help raise awareness for the condition.

Dawson (43) revealed that his son was lucky to be alive and credited the “amazing” staff of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London for his recovery.

The former England rugby union captain shared frightening images of Sami on a ventilator, which he tweeted using the hashtag #VaccinateNow.

Meanwhile in the UK, more than 250,000 people have signed a petition which calls for all children in the state to be vaccinated for deadly Meningitis B through the NHS.

Currently in the UK, the vaccine is administrated to babies aged two months, followed by a second dose at four months and a booster at 12 months.

Parents who wish to have older children vaccinated in the UK must pay privately.

In Ireland the vaccine for Meningitis B, Bexsero, is licensed but parents hoping to vaccinate their children must do so privately at a cost of between €130 and €180 per dose, not including the cost of administrating the vaccination. Between two and four doses of the vaccine must be administered for the vaccine to have effect.

Last year, the National Immunisation Committee advised that the vaccine be rolled out through the HSE, if it is provided at a cost effective price.

According to the Meningitis Research Foundation, four cases of meningitis and septicaemia present in Ireland each week. One out of ten people die from the infection, which can be both viral and bacterial, and one in three are left its with life-altering effects.

Pictures tweeted by Matt Dawson of his son Sami suffering from meningitis
Pictures tweeted by Matt Dawson of his son Sami suffering from meningitis
Matt Dawson
Matt Dawson

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