Mum of tragic Thornton toddler vows to keep up meningitis fight

Alfie Fleming
Alfie Fleming
Share this article
Have your say

A Fylde coast mum has vowed to carry on fighting for meningitis vaccinations to all children under 11.

Joanne Mills, whose son Alfie Fleming died from the condition aged two in 2014, said yesterday: “It’s a no brainer, very child should get it.

“For the sake of an injection, he should still be here.”

Alfie, who was described by Joanne as ‘very very happy, well-mannered, and intelligent’, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital after he started being sick, but was sent home with medication and orders to rest.

Joanne and Alfie’s dad, David Fleming, took the youngster home, where he spent the night being sick until 5am when he fell asleep.

Joanne said she left him to rest until around 8.30am, when she went into his bedroom and found him unresponsive and covered in a purple rash, later found to be septicaemia, or blood poisoning. She called 999 and Alfie was raced back to hospital.

He was placed in an induced coma by medics but his heart stopped beating.

Doctors revived him and arranged to send him to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for specialist treatment but, halfway there, his heart failed again.

Paramedics pulled over and fought desperately to save Alfie’s life as Joanne watched on.

Joanne said: “They did CPR for 10 minutes but they couldn’t bring him back.

“One of the doctors looked at the other and they both had tears rolling down their cheeks.

“They told me to go and hold his hands. He had gone.”

Meningitis symptoms include high fever; vomiting or a refusal to feed; display of agitation, drowsiness, floppiness or unresponsiveness; rapid breathing or grunting; an unusually high-pitched or moaning cry; pale, blotchy skin; a red rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it; and tense, bulging soft spots on their head.

Since 2015, babies have automatically been given a jab that protects against the most common type of meningitis.