Grieving mum's message of sympathy

It has been nearly nine years since Elaine Platts lost her beloved son to meningitis - but she still thinks of him everyday.

KESGRAVE: It has been nearly nine years since Elaine Platts lost her beloved son to meningitis - but she still thinks of him everyday.

Today, the 45-year-old told how the recent deaths of three Ipswich children had brought back painful memories after she went through the same ordeal in 2001 when Travis died within 24 hours of getting meningitis symptoms.

The youngster was two weeks short of his third birthday when he struck by the deadly disease on July 24.

He started complaining of a sore knee and just hours later he was lying in a hospital bed with a fatal rash spreading across his body.

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Mrs Platts, of Cambridge Road, Kesgrave, sent her condolences to the families of 11-month-old Ellie Parsons, and two-year-olds Rhianna Warner and Kyron Vince, who all died from suspected meningitis.

Mrs Platts, who has a 15-year-old daughter, Amber, said: “Losing a child to this horrific illness is unbearable. But I strongly believe it is better to have loved, than never to have loved at all.

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“I had nine months off work. My head was all over the place but I tried to get back to normal for Amber. The worst thing was people used to cross the street to avoid talking to me as they didn't know what to say.

“You somehow find the strength to get through it. I couldn't have done it without my family and friends. I would say to these parents, do not blame yourself. I used to but there is nothing I could have done.

“I still have very bad days. There is not a day goes by that I do not think of him.”

Travis had just completed a term at playschool and was a typical mischievous toddler. The family still regularly talk about him to keep his memory alive.

Mrs Platts, 45, who is now a court manager at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich, added: “You never think it is going to happen to you. My outlook on life has changed. It makes you appreciate everyone in your life.

“I would say to these families, they are in my thoughts, and although the years have passed and my life has changed dramatically, memories of our loved ones never fade.”

Have you suffered a bereavement and want to pay tribute to your loved one? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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