Parents’ tribute to ‘gorgeous, happy’ Lancaster boy who died from Meningitis

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The parents of a three-year-old boy who died from Meningococcal Septicaemia are warning people to be aware of the signs of the disease.

Hector Kirkham, from Lancaster, was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on March 27 but sadly died later the same day.

Hector Kirkham from Lancaster, who has died from Meningococcal Septicaemia.

Hector Kirkham from Lancaster, who has died from Meningococcal Septicaemia.

There are no suspicious circumstances and no on-going police investigation but specially trained police officers are supporting Hector’s family.

Hector’s family have today offered a heart-breaking tribute to their son.

In a statement his mum Charlotte and dad Lee said: “Our gorgeous, cheeky, happy boy Hector devastatingly left us on the 27th March.

“Hector was perfect in every way, our absolute world, our sunshine, our very best friend.

“Hector became very poorly very fast from contracting Meningococcal Septicaemia, Hector’s symptoms of sickness and a temperature only presented 12 hours before we sadly lost the love of our lives. 

“We urge all parents to be vigilant and any signs or symptoms that point towards meningitis being a possibility please please seek urgent medical advice, don’t delay.” 

Hector attended Little Learners nursery in Galgate.

A second toddler from Little Learners who had contracted the disease was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary but has now been discharged.

A spokesman from Public Health England said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the family concerned.”

Grainne Nixon, Health Protection Nurse Consultant for Public Health England North West, said: “We understand that there will be concern among parents and staff at the nursery, and we’d like to assure parents that the risk of another case arising in the nursery is very low.

“Meningococcal disease does not spread very easily.

“As a precaution, all children and staff at the nursery have been offered antibiotics to reduce the chance of them carrying the bacteria which causes the disease.

“PHE has also written to staff and parents of children at the nursery to provide information and remind them of the signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection, which can cause meningitis as well as septicaemia.

“Children and staff who are well have been advised to attend nursery as normal.

“Although meningococcal disease is uncommon, people should be aware of the symptoms that can include a fever, headache, rapid breathing, drowsiness, shivering, vomiting and cold hands and feet.

“It can also cause a characteristic rash which does not fade when pressed against a glass.

“Also, some people may experience diarrhoea and vomiting.

“Early recognition of meningitis and septicaemia symptoms can greatly improve the outcome of the disease and so anyone who is concerned about any of these symptoms, at any time, should seek medical advice immediately or call NHS 111.”

For more information about meningitis and its symptoms please visit the NHS website HERE

Anyone with immediate concerns about their child should report to their local Accident and Emergency Department.