A tiny baby girl faces having one of her legs amputated on Monday after being struck down by an almost eradicated form of meningitis.
Kia Gott has already had her right arm removed and medics fear she may end up losing all her limbs after contracting an extremely rare strain of meningitis.
Her aunt Donna Gott says her traumatised parents, Paul, 35, and Vikki, 30, are struggling to come to terms with the full extent of her illness.
They have been told Kia, who is 10 months old, could also lose her sight and hearing. In addition she may be left severely brain damaged after contracting the C strain which was thought to have been almost eradicated in babies aged under 12 months old.
Doctors at Leeds General Infirmary where the tot is being treated have told the family it is the worst case they have seen for 25 years.
Heartbreakingly, little Kia was just two months from being give the Meningitis C vaccine on her first birthday.
Donna said the tragedy unfolded after Vikki took her baby to the doctor’s a month ago worried she wasn’t excited as usual when her dad came home from work.
That night her horrified parents found her covered in a rash and dialled 999. Kia was initially taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Donna said: “They are traumatised. They can’t grasp that she can’t hear or see them. They believe she is responding to their voices and when her sister Elsie sings her nursery rhymes.
“The hospital has said it’s the worst case of Meningitis C there in 25 years.
“She is on so many drugs it’s hard to do tests, but an eye specialist has given some hope over her sight. Vikki has not left her. Paul is self-employed and still having to work to pay bills.
“Kayden and Elsie, the couple’s other two children, are staying at a hospital house with their mum at weekends. They are struggling too.”
Paramedics who rushed to Kia’s home in Wyke, near Bradford, had to drill into her shin to give her drugs because her veins had collapsed.
She then had a mini-cardiac arrest on the way to hospital where doctors confirmed she had meningococcal septicaemia.
She is now at the infirmary, sedated and breathing unaided. Consultants say the GP who saw her could not have detected the disease.
The NHS stopped giving the MenC vaccine to 12 week old babies last year because of its success, with only one case in a baby under one in 2015-16.
The disease is caused by normally harmless bacteria in the throats of one in 10 people.
But if it gets into the blood system, it can trigger life-threatening infection.
Kind-hearted villagers are now raising money for the family and have already collected £7,000 on a JustGiving page.
Donna added: “Paul and Vikki are very thankful. They have a long road ahead of them.”
Donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/emma-simpson-2