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Mum promotes help group in memory of son

PUBLISHED: 22:18 14 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:39 03 March 2010

A GRIEVING mother whose nine-year-old son died of meningitis is helping launch a new group in the county to prevent more lives being lost.

Rebecca Kennedy, of Queensberry Road, Ipswich, is still trying to come to terms with the loss of her son Robbie three years ago.

A GRIEVING mother whose nine-year-old son died of meningitis is helping launch a new group in the county to prevent more lives being lost.

Rebecca Kennedy, of Queensberry Road, Ipswich, is still trying to come to terms with the loss of her son Robbie three years ago.

But now she is supporting the launch of a new group in Suffolk to help other parents struggling with bereavement from meningitis.

Mrs Kennedy, a 36-year-old Axa insurance employee, said her son deteriorated after suffering from a headache, feeling sick and suffering from a stiff neck. He was seen by two doctors.

She still clearly remembers calling an ambulance and frantically trying to resuscitate him the next day after finding him lifeless in bed.

She said: "Soon after the ambulance arrived I asked him to help me save him, but he said there was nothing he could do.

"I will never get over Robbie's death, you just learn to live with it and get by each day."

Robbie, a talented young footballer, was a top scorer for Ipswich Warriors U10s in the Felixstowe and District Youth League.

Mrs Kennedy said: "You just never expect it to happen to your child, I always thought how lucky I was to have a healthy boy.

"In less than 12 hours he was dead. It was unbelievable. To have this local group in Suffolk is brilliant, fantastic.

"The more people that understand meningitis the better. If their work saves just one life it makes it all worthwhile.''

Mrs Kennedy aims to help raise funds for the group and may even talk to other parents who are struggling to come to terms with bereavement.

The chairwoman of the new Suffolk branch of the Meningitis Trust, Debbie Ball, herself saw her late father suffer from meningitis, aged 59.

Mrs Ball, from Great Finborough near Stowmarket, said: "People do not know the facts, the symptoms. This can happen to anyone.

"You can die from it in four hours. If people know what to look for, lives can be saved rather than thinking it is flu and leaving it until it is too late.''

The Suffolk branch of the Meningitis Trust is being officially launched on Sunday September 29 at the Northgate Athletics Track in Ipswich.

* Symptoms of meningitis in adults and children are headaches, fever, a stiff neck, vomiting, drowsiness, joint pains, fits and a desire to avoid the light. For babies the symptoms can include diarrhoea and a high-pitched moaning.

To find out more contact the Meningitis Trust on 01453 768000.

Weblink:

www.meningitis-trust.org

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