Mother who has ‘miracle girl’ after suffering 16 miscarriages is heartbroken after meningitis kills her 15-month-old in just 14 hours
A mother overcame 16 miscarriages to give birth to her daughter – only to lose her to meningitis.
Fleur-Rose Allen, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, died in April this year, just days after she started walking for the first time.
The 15-month-old, who was born two-and-a-half months premature following a difficult pregnancy – woke crying with a slight temperature.
Her mother, Lizzie Allen, 32, thought she had a bug and gave her water and Calpol.
But just hours later, after suffering four cardiac arrests, doctors declared her dead.
In her only interview, Ms Allen said she wanted other parents to know how quickly meningitis can become deadly.
She said: ‘Fleur-Rose was so healthy. She was toddling and laughing the day before she died.
‘At 1pm on the day we lost her, she was sat on her daddy Matt’s knee, grinning away
By 6pm she was taken to the hospital’s resuscitation department. At 11.04pm she was dead.’
Shortly after Fleur-Rose woke up, she suffered a febrile convulsion – a seizure caused by excessive heat.
Rushed to hospital by ambulance, her temperature was measured at 39°C – indicating a high fever.
She was drifting in and out of consciousness – but on the way to hospital her fits had stopped.
Upon arriving at hospital, Fleur-Rose even appeared to perk up as she started playing with toys.
Around lunchtime she began retching, but her oxygen levels were still 100 per cent, doctors said.
At 1pm she had an X-ray on her chest, which was clear, but she still was not eating.
Ms Allen said she appeared healthy as she was smiling while sitting on her father’s, Matt, 34, lap.
When feeding her a spoonful of mashed potato, the family noticed a slight red blotch on her neck.
They shouted for a nurse but moments later the mark had gone.
At 5.30pm Fleur-Rose was admitted to a side room as doctors attempted to get a water sample from her.
They then revealed they were going to give her an antibiotic to treat meningitis.
Ms Allen added: ‘It was the first time she had heard mention of meningitis. I was terrified.
‘She deteriorated before our eyes.’
Then, at 6pm, Fleur-Rose was moved to the resuscitation unit and a specialist team was called in.
She suffered from four cardiac arrests as the rash returned, creeping from her feet to her head.
At 11.04pm, the family were told there was nothing more that could be done to save her.
It was subsequently discovered that Fleur-Rose had been suffering from streptococcal meningitis, a bacterial strain of the illness.
Her family now wants to promote greater awareness of the symptoms of meningitis in youngsters.
Ms Allen said: ‘People always look for the rash, but her rash didn’t develop until later,’ she said.
‘At lunchtime she was cheerful, but actually she was being killed from the inside out.
‘She was too young to articulate how she felt. She couldn’t say, “Mummy my eyes hurt or Mummy I have a bad tummy”.
‘I think every child who is admitted to hospital with similar symptoms should automatically have a meningitis check.
‘A child’s life isn’t a lottery.’
Since Fleur-Rose’s death, Ms Allen has raised £12,000 for Meningitis Now in her daughter’s name.
‘I want people to remember her,’ she said. ‘I had 16 unexplained miscarriages in six years before she was born.
‘Time after time, I experienced heartbreak. Then, finally, she was there.
Ms Allen experienced a difficult pregnancy. Doctors feared her child would be disabled because the scan indicated fluid around her neck.
Fleur-Rose eventually was born two-and-a-half months premature, weighing just 4lbs.
Now the family are determined the daughter they adored should be remembered.
Ms Allen said: ‘She was a beautiful, strong little girl.
‘I don’t want other children to die like she did. I don’t want other parents to suffer like we did.’