Grieving parents Nick and Ruth Bate, from Gillingham, pleading for meningitis vaccine for all babies
Grieving parents Nick and Ruth
Bate are pleading for a breakthrough meningitis vaccine, which
might have saved their daughter’s life, to be made available to
Little Willow (pictured below) died
suddenly from the cruel virus just a week before it was announced
that the first drug against meningitis B is now licensed for use in
The same day 15-month-old Willow
passed away, her mum and dad set up a trust fund to raise money for
Meningitis UK which funds research to develop vaccines.
They were determined that something
good should come out of her death and have now joined the national
campaign to get the vaccine Bexsero on the UK routine childhood
Ruth, 31, from Gillingham, said;
“Nick and I think it is very important that this should be
available for every child – and sooner rather than later.
“Nothing will replace our Willow, but if this saves another
child or prevents other families going through what we have been
through, then it has to be a good thing.”
The drug, which has received a
marketing licence from the European Commission, has been described
by Meningitis UK’s founder Steve Dayman as “the biggest
breakthrough in 30 years”.
Speaking at the Meningitis B: Beat
it Now launch, Jason Hulbert from the charity said: “We are urging
the government to put the vaccine in the immunisation schedule as
soon as possible. Any delay means lives lost.”
Willow, whom the Bates describe as
their “little angel,” died just hours after showing symptoms at the
family home in Burnt Oak Terrace.
The trust, set up on January 11,
has so far raised £6,600 with more cash coming in through raffles
and sales all the time.
Nick, 36, a firefighter based at
Strood, said: “The response has been amazing. It is helping us to
get over our tragedy.
The couple, who got married in
December, have a son Zak, who is three.
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