Abertillery parents launch campaign after baby daughter's death

Abertillery parents launch campaign after baby daughter's death

LOSS: Sara and Gareth Briscoe, of Abertillery, suffered the loss of their daughter Katie May Briscoe aged 15 weeks

TRAGIC: Katie May Briscoe

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

AN ABERTILLERY couple whose baby daughter died from the common cold virus are launching a campaign to stop the same tragic events affecting more families.

Katie May Briscoe died at just three months old in March this year after contracting respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – the common cold virus.

The tot was born 12 weeks premature in November last year to parents Sara and Gareth, and doctors thought she was unlikely to survive because she had already had a brain haemorrhage and was suffering from chronic lung disease.

Katie defied expectations by battling on, and after three months in Nevill Hall Hospital’s special care baby unit, she was allowed home.

But just two days later she was taken into Cardiff’s University of Wales hospital’s paediatric unit to remove excess fluid on the brain. She began to fit and doctors diagnosed RSV. She died of the virus on March 23.

But Mr and Mrs Briscoe believe Katie might never have contracted the virus if she had been allowed back on to the special care baby unit in either Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall or Cardiff, rather than the normal practice of being readmitted to the children’s ward. The couple want health officials to make sure babies always have the option of going back in to special care baby units rather than children’s wards, because of the greater chance of infection from older children.

They are now preparing to launch a campaign called Katie’s Legacy – Protect Our Premature Babies.

Mr Briscoe said: “Babies have not got the immune system to cope with what a child of 16 may be carrying.

“What we are hoping for is either to make sure babies being readmitted are considered on a case by case basis, or for there to be something between special care and children’s wards.”

The couple have written to their MP and AM and launched an online petition.

Mr Briscoe: “We’re pretty sure it would have saved Katie’s life.”

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