A mum whose son was struck with meningitis three years ago is urging residents to sign a petition that could help save lives.
Julie Jenkins (32), of Chatham Street, Colne, wants more locals to support the fight for the Men B vaccine to be introduced into the national immunisation programme for infants.
If I could wish anything, it would be that Louie could live a normal lifeColne mum Julie Jenkins
It is an appeal straight from her heart, since her own son Louie (3) contracted the disease back in 2012 and had to have his legs amputated below the knee.
The 32-year-old mum-of-two has also been made more determined than ever to revive her plea following the news of Pendle twin Thomas Procter-Whitham (3) being diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia.
It has been nearly one year since the vaccine was recommended by the joint committee on Vaccine and Immunisation, dependent on it being bought at a cost-effective price.
Julie, who raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis, including muscle pains, vomiting and drowsiness, said: “If I could wish anything, it would be that Louie could live a normal life. The thought that one vaccine could have provided that means there is no question about it.
“It is like any other vaccine given to babies, so there is no reason why we can’t have another one put out there - especially when we can save so many lives. I went to a Meningitis Now meeting [recently] and it just gave me the boost I needed to say ‘we need to fight this’, especially with the local case that has come up.
“Colne has come together so wonderfully for Thomas, and while everybody is thinking about it, we need people to help us.”
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We are very clear that we want to see this vaccine introduced as soon as possible to help protect children from this devastating disease.
“The JCVI recommended that a MenB vaccine be introduced, but only at a cost-effective price — below the price published by Novartis. We need to make sure NHS funds are used effectively and negotiations are continuing.”
To follow Louie’s story visit the Little Lamb Appeal Facebook page.
Meningitis Research Foundation and Meningitis Now have both conducted petitions - with the latter handing over thousands of signatures this week.
MRF’s petition can be found at www.meningitis.org/sign-MenB-petition
For more information on Meningitis Now visit www.meningitisnow.org