Eleanor’s parents, Jane and David write,
“Our daughter, Eleanor died at two days old from sepsis caused by a group B Strep infection. She was our third child, having had no previous issues with our other two children. GBS was not raised in any of my maternity appointments and whilst it was something I was vaguely aware of, testing was not discussed with me and I did not ask questions about it.
Eleanor was born at full term and there were none of the other risk factors connected to infection so we were sent home after six hours following a straightforward birth. With hindsight, Eleanor had started to become unsettled whilst we were in hospital and when at home continued to be so and started to refuse to feed. She also had a strange cry. All of this was flagged explicitly on three phone calls to the maternity triage line expressing our concern, but we were told to wait at home for a midwife on her standard day one visit. When the midwife arrived at home, she called an ambulance immediately, but the damage done to Eleanor by the infection was too great and she died the next day.
Today, 6th December 2022 should have been Eleanor’s first birthday celebrating her first milestones with friends and family but instead we are left with just those photos from the first two days and a massive hole in our lives. We will miss her forever.
Early- onset GBS infection should not be underestimated, in the first hours when you are getting to know your baby it is hard to know if there have been changes in their behaviour or skin colour because you do not know what normal is. Please be alert to the signs of sepsis in your newborn and if you have any concerns head to hospital. Whilst it is uncommon and we know we were unlucky, one baby a week dies from something that if caught early enough can be cured by simple antibiotics.”