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Family Life: I'm slowly coming to terms with my son's death; HEALTH: Just days after catching chicken pox's Orlando was dead.

Byline: By Alison Dayani

GRIEVING mother Anita Douglas never imagined that a common illness like chicken pox could cause the death of her toddler.

It was just days after catching the children's illness, that the happy four-year-old's condition took a dramatic turn for the worse and he developed a fatal secondary infection.

With the tragic memory of Orlando dying in her arms, nurse Anita, of Springthorpe Green, Erdington, sends a message to other parents - always know the symptoms and follow your instincts.

"I am slowly coming to terms with Orlando's death but it is very very hard," says the 31-year-old"I have learned the hard way that parents need to know exactly what symptoms to look for and the treatment they need."

Anita wasn't sure what was wrong with her toddler Orlando Allison, who was eventually admitted to hospital with chicken pox.

Tragically he died two days later of a related infection, streptococcal septicaemia, in June 2001.

Anita adds: "I just hope parents take note and another tragedy can be prevented."

Anita was awarded compensation last year after Birmingham Children's Hospital admitted liability for taking away antibiotics that were prescribed by Orlando's GP Dr Mohamed Nazki, from Stockland Green surgery, in Erdington, for a secondary infection to chickenpox

Two weeks old and struck by meningitis

LITTLE Lena Curran was just two weeks old when she was struck by meningitis.

But her mother Fiona Curran reacted quickly, meaning doctors were able to diagnose the illness and save her life.

Lena, of Kempson Road, in Bromford, was left profoundly deaf by the bug, but has now been fitted with a cochlear ear implant meaning she can hear even the quietest whisper, to the delight of her 30-year-old mum Fiona and nine-year-old sister Abi

I saw a rash and thought the worst

MUM Lucy Clifford, from Bournville, was quick to get action when she spotted a rash on her baby's back.

Fearing the worst, she thought Molly had been struck with deadly meningitis on a Saturday afternoon when her GP's surgery was closed.

Thankfully it was through an interactive NHS TV service that Lucy was able to correctly assess the situation and realise it was chicken pox. Lucy talked to a nurse on screen and did a glass test for meningitis before realising nine-month-old Molly needed calamine lotion and to be kept away from other children

Useful information

Any parents with concerns over their child's health should contact their GP or ring the 24 hours helpline NHS Direct on 0845 4647


CHICKEN POX... Anita Douglas g; grieves her son Orlando (inset; EAR IMPLANT... Fiona Curran with her daughter, 2, Leena; TEST... Lucy Clifford with her daughter Molly
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 8, 2005
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