Tearful farewell to tragic Ellie

HUNDREDS of mourners are today expected to gather to bid a tearful goodbye to a baby who died from suspected meningitis.

IPSWICH: Hundreds of mourners are today expected to gather to bid a tearful goodbye to a baby who died from suspected meningitis.

Loved ones of tragic Ellie Parsons were due to gather for the 11-month-old's funeral at St Augustine's Church in Felixstowe Road.

Mum Kirsty Ludlow put her daughter to bed on December 10 without any signs of ill health but within a couple of hours she was shivering and had a soaring temperature - typical symptoms of meningitis.

Kirsty and partner Daren Parsons took Ellie to hospital and after medics conducted tests, she was sent home in the early hours of December 11.

But when her condition began to worsen, she was rushed her back to hospital - but within an hour she was dead.

Her parents believe Ellie died from meningitis. A post mortem has revealed that the cause of death was meningococcal septicemia (meningococcal is a serious infection which can cause meningitis or septicemia).

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As Ipswich Hospital continues to investigate the circumstances around the tragedy, Ms Ludlow and her family are preparing to lay their baby to rest.

Ms Ludlow said: “I do not feel any different now than when it happened.

“It is still so raw. I am in disbelief. I feel like I have been conned out of Ellie's life.

“I am petrified about the funeral - I have been getting chest pains.”

Ms Ludlow's father, Dee, is due to read a tribute to his only granddaughter and there will also be floral tributes, displaying Ellie's favourite images of Mickey Mouse, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.

Three weeks after Ellie's death, two other Ipswich toddlers, Rhianna Warner and Kyron Vince, died within a day of each other from suspected meningitis. Investigations into their deaths have also been launched.

The Evening Star, in association with The Meningitis Trust, has been distributing posters to libraries and newsagents in the area to warn people of the symptoms of the infection.

Do you know someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one and want to pay tribute? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.GHJ