My baby missed vaccine by 10 days ... and she nearly died; FAMILY IN MENINGITIS NIGHTMARE.
Byline: JOSHUA TAYLOR Social Affairs Writer firstname.lastname@example.org @taylorjoshua1
A BABY was nearly killed by meningitis B after being denied the vaccine because she was 10 days too old.
Mum Sarah Kinsey called 999 after discovering a terrifying purple rash on seven-month-old daughter Sofia's chest.
Paramedics arrived at the family's Speke home in four minutes and Sofia was in the resuscitation unit at Alder Hey Children's Hospital just over half an hour later.
Now Sofia is cured and her family paid a visit to the south Liverpool ambulance station whose staff saved her life.
Sarah, 33, said: "We woke up and she wasn't well, so I decided to change her nappy and I saw the rash.
"She had cold hands, she was making a rasping noise and was whimpering.
"The rash looked like a big purple blotch on her chest.
"When I saw it I felt sick, because I just knew it was meningitis. That was when I phoned the ambulance."
Sarah had been aware of the deadly consequences of meningitis after Alisha Bartolini, 18, the granddaughter of a family friend, was found dead in her student flat in Childwall in 2014 after being struck by the disease.
Sofia was born on April 21 last year and the Government's meningitis B vaccination programme began in July.
But it was only back-dated to cover children born on or after May 1 that year.
The decision sparked massive controversy and a petition calling for children of all ages to be vaccinated was signed more than 800,000 times.
Sarah said: "She was too old by 10 days. I asked the consultant at Alder Hey 'if Sofia had the vaccination, would this have happened?' and she said it could have prevented it.
"I think all kids of all ages should get it. You can't put a price on life, at the end of the day."
Sarah also heaped praise on the North West Ambulance Service for their speedy treatment when Sofia fell ill in December last year.
The mum-of-one said: "We were told the speed the ambulance was called and how quickly Sofia received medical care is why she is still here today.
"I am so thankful and will forever be in the debt of each and every medical professional that helped her and helped us.
"The day before this happened, I was out shopping with her and everything was fine.
"She wouldn't be here today if the ambulance wasn't so quick."
Sofia, now one year old, was in hospital for a week on antibiotics and spent three days in intensive care.
This week, her mum and dad, Andy Freeman, 38, took Sofia to the south Liverpool ambulance station to meet the crew - emergency medical technician Frank Cousins and paramedics Robert McKnight and Leona Pritchard - who saved her life.
The team said: "It's overwhelming to be reunited with Sarah and her family and be praised by them for our work that day.
"This job is a real privilege to do."
Little Sofia in Alder Hey; and, left, with mum Sarah Kinsey, dad
Andy Freeman, paramedics Leona Pritchard and Robert McKnight and EMT Frank Cousins