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Ipswich: Grandmother welcomes new meningitis vaccine progress in light of grandchild’s death

PUBLISHED: 14:18 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:18 24 January 2013

Penny Watchman, Regan Warner, and Danielle Watchman, who lost their beloved Rhianna to meningitis three years ago

Penny Watchman, Regan Warner, and Danielle Watchman, who lost their beloved Rhianna to meningitis three years ago

Archant

A grandmother, who lost her beloved grandchild to a deadly brain bug, has welcomed the news that a new vaccine to protect against it has been granted a licence.

Penny Watchman’s granddaughter Rhianna Warner died on New Year’s Eve in 2009 from meningococcal septicaemia at Ipswich Hospital.

Yesterday it was announced that a new vaccine to protect against meningococcal group B disease is one step closer to being made available in this country due to a licence being granted by the European Commission.

Mrs Watchman, of Landseer Road, said: “I think it is really good news. If that stops other families going through what we did, it will be worth it.”

So far Mrs Watchman’s family and friends have raised more than £14,500 for the Meningitis Trust.

She added: “The main thing is to keep awareness going. The money we have raised will help funds things like symptom cards, and help anyone who has been affected by meningitis.”

At present, there are around 1,110 people living in Ipswich who could be struggling to cope with the after-effects of meningitis – and every year another 20 people in the area could find themselves fighting the disease.

A Shotley father with five drink-driving convictions has been jailed for 36 weeks after taking his mother’s car without consent and crashing it into a hedge.

Bosses at the Eastern Enterprise Hub and University of Suffolk hope gaming and technology students will be inspired to pursue their games ideas, after it emerged the gaming industry is one of the fastest growing locally.

Snow could fall in parts of Suffolk this morning as temperatures dropped overnight.

Trains between London and Norwich are being cancelled this morning as a result of engineering work not having been completed on time.

Police are searching for a 52-year-old man from Leavenheath who has been reported missing.

Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

Highways bosses have announced they will be carrying out a series of improvements to the road network across Suffolk and north Essex this week.

Kebab fans will be excited to hear a new fast food outlet that prides itself on making top quality versions of the takeaway staple is opening in Ipswich soon.

Drivers in Woodbridge have faced long delays this afternoon after a major route through the town became flooded.

Firefighters were sent to tackle a blaze that broke out in a flat in Ipswich this afternoon.

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