Toddler’s tragic story leads campaign

Dylan Stott passed away from a deadly brain bug when he was 21-months-old, just hours after showing nothing more than flu-like symptoms.

Now the toddler from Lincoln, who died from meningitis in 2005, will feature on a poster raising awareness of the deadly disease.

His photo is being used on a poster from Meningitis UK for its Look Out 4 Meningitis, Look Out 4 Others winter awareness campaign.

The campaign warns people to look out for each other during the cold weather as people of all ages are at risk from meningitis, which can kill in under four hours.

Dylan’s parents Quentin and Surj raised £95,000 for Meningitis UK and its vaccine research work since the toddler died in August 2005.

They hope that by telling his story and including him on the poster that people will be extra vigilant to meningitis this winter.

Dylan first showed signs of being ill at 2pm when he awoke from his afternoon nap with a fever and vomited.

But by bath time Dylan’s temperature had dropped and he was running round the house as usual.

Quentin and Surj read him a bedtime story and let him sleep in their bed so that they could monitor him.

By midnight Dylan was sleeping with his temperature falling again but they woke up at 1am to discover he was dead.

Surj said: “It was every parent’s worst nightmare. It happened so quickly.

“We feel that a vaccine is the only thing which could have saved Dylan’s life, which is why we’ve channeled our efforts into fundraising.

“In the absence a vaccine for all forms of meningitis it’s vital that everyone is alert to the symptoms. It’s easy to mistake meningitis as a cold or the flu.

“Our advice is to look out for your friends and family and rush them to hospital as soon as you suspect something more serious could be wrong.”

The season of meningitis

Meningitis cases rise during the winter months, with the majority of dangerous bacterial forms striking due to the cold weather causing weakened immune systems.

Classic symptoms of meningitis are a headache, stiff neck and a dislike of bright light. Other symptoms can include difficulty supporting own weight, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, confusion and drowsiness.

Symptoms of meningococcal septicaemia include aching limbs, cold hands and feet and a pin prick marks rash which develops rapidly into purple bruising.

Children under five and those aged 15 to 25 are most at risk, particularly those who have recently suffered from a cold or flu, but the disease can affect anyone of any age.

Steve Dayman is Meningitis UK’s Chief Executive and founded the charity after his son Spencer died from the disease.

He said: “What happened to Dylan sadly highlights what a devastating disease meningitis is and how quickly it can take hold.

“We’re really grateful to Quentin and Surj for supporting Meningitis UK and our winter campaign,” Dayman added.

“Knowing the symptoms and getting swift treatment can mean the difference between life and death.”

Source: Meningitis UK