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Get vaccinated , warn parents of meningitis victims

PARENTS of both teenagers who have died from meningitis are urging all young people to be vaccinated against the disease. Brian and Lesley Cross, whose son Ryan, 18, was buried on Tuesday, are also appealing to parents to check their children have received the jab.

"They have to learn about meningitis and those over 18 have to be responsible and go to their doctors to order a vaccination," said Mr Cross.

The couple's youngest son, who was an Archers Court School pupil, was a student at South Kent College at Ashford and worked as a car paint sprayer at Greaves in Poulton Close, Dover.

His family joined school, college and work friends to say their goodbyes to the teenager on Tuesday when they joined the funeral cortege from Ryan's home in Cranleigh Drive, Whitfield, for the service and burial at the village church of St Peter's.

He died at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital after first feeling unwell early one morning, suffering from typical flu-like symptoms. Mr Cross added: "When he couldn't keep anything down we telephoned the doctor and he suggested hospital treatment."

The couple had no idea how serious Ryan's condition had become and when he was given medication to help him sleep he asked them how long he was going to be asleep.

They thought they would be soon taking him home. Instead the words were the last they heard their son speak.

Mr and Mrs Cross were full of praise for the doctors who tried so hard to save Ryan and paid tribute to the kindness shown to them since their son's death.

The teenager was close to his older brother Adam and the two were planning a holiday trip together. He hasn't left his parents' side since the tragedy.

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