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WATCH: Cornish parents urged to know signs of sepsis

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1:18pm 13th January 2018
(Updated 1:18pm 13th January 2018)

Cornwall parents are being urged to learn about the signs of sepsis, after a Penryn mother tragically lost her son to the condition.

The Phoenix Project, run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, is hosting the sessions in a bid to help people who have children or work with them to understand what to look for.

And they want more parents and guardians to get involved, with extra spaces on their next course in Wadebridge later this month.

The teams were inspired by the work of Cornwall mum Melissa Mead, who lost her son William to the condition back in 2014.

In 2016, she released a video as a final promise to her son that she will continue to raise awareness.


Millions watched her holding up a string of cards, while fighting back tears.

They read: "Hi, my name is Melissa and I am the mother of two children.

"This is my son William, affectionately known as Grumpus.

"And here is his little sibling, due in September 2016.

"I will never have a picture of them together, because William lives in heaven now and they will never meet".

"William suffered with a chest infection and pneumonia in the weeks leading up to his death.

"Just 17 days after his first birthday, William died from sepsis.

"I found him in my cot - my baby was gone.

"No-one mentioned sepsis before William died. The first time I saw the word sepsis was on William's death certificate.

"I thought that is must be rare - but I quickly learned that it is not rare".

The campaign she is involved with is part of a bigger drive led by NHS England to tackle sepsis.

It was launched in partnership with Public Health England and charity UK Sepsis Trust.

Now those in the fire service hope their courses can go someway to tackling the problem.

Katie Rollason, from the Phoenix Project, said: "As a mother myself, you need the confidence to be able to recognise the symptoms of something that could often be mistaken as something else - and also to have the confidence to be able to say 'Could this be sepsis?', which is the message they were pushing out.

"If anyone I knew or loved was in a situation where they needed someone to help them, you would hope that there was somebody there with those skills.

"That's what we're hoping to do really, is to just empower as many people as possible with first aid skills across Cornwall."

You can find out about the peadiatric first aid courses here

So what do you need to look out for?

The NHS says you must call 999 immediately if your child has these symptoms:

looks mottled, bluish or pale
is very lethargic or difficult to wake
feels abnormally cold to touch
is breathing very fast
has a rash that does not fade when you press it
has a fit or convulsion

You can find more information on what to look out for here.

Source: NHS

1:18pm 13th January 2018

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