A mum’s heartbreaking video made as a promise to her tragic baby son who died from sepsis has gone viral – and been viewed 15 MILLION times.
Melissa Mead’s little boy William died in 2014 aged just 12 months when a string of NHS failures led to his case of sepsis not being properly recognised.
A report into his death criticised GPs, out-of-hours services and a 111 call handler who failed to spot the symptoms.
Pregnant Melissa, 29, who is due to give birth later this month, runs a Facebook page, A Mother Without a Child, where she shared a video in which she promises William she would raise awareness of the killer disease.
But she has been stunned by how popular it has been.
She said: “I never imagined it would go viral. It is amazing. Including the people who have shared the post it has now had over 15m views. It is incredible.
“I am astonished and so pleased.
“I just wanted to do something to show the reality of living with a sepsis death.
“We have to live with it every day and I wanted to show the raw side of it all.
“If by doing that I am able to encourage others to ask if this is sepsis or know what to look for then I feel it is worthwhile.”
Melissa, of Penryn, Cornwall, starts the video by expressing her sadness that William will never have the chance to meet his new sibling, who is due this month.
Writing on one of the cards that she holds up to the camera through the recording, she says: “”Here is his little sibling, due in September 2016,
“I will never have a picture of them together. Because William lives in heaven now, and they will never meet.”
Melissa continues to share her story by writing on cards and says: “Just 17 days after his 1st birthday, William died from sepsis. I found him in his cot. My baby was gone.
“The first time I saw the word sepsis was on William’s death certificate’ – but the condition is not rare in any sense of the word.
“Sepsis is the body’s reaction to an infection. It injures its own tissues and organs. It leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death.
“Every 3.5 seconds someone in the world dies from sepsis.”
If caught early enough, sepsis can be treated with antibiotics and fluids, at the cost of around £90.
Melissa adds: “Would you pay £90 to save your loved ones life? I thought so.”
“I promised William that I would raise as much awareness of sepsis as I could. This month, September, is Sepsis Awareness Month. So I’m asking you to help me keep my promise. It’s really very simple!
“Sepsis stole William’s life. He will never say his first words, never have a first day at school, get married or have children. He did not deserve that.
“My hope is that no other family has to lose their child, parent or friend to sepsis when it could be avoided. This is William’s legacy.”
A shocked Melissa said she never imagined how widely her video would be shared.
She added: “I put it on mother without a child and I thought it would get a few hundreds shares and get a couple of hundreds thousand views if I was lucky.
“But I woke up on Monday and my phone had gone into meltdown. I am truly, truly astonished.”
Melissa said she has also received £12,000 to her charity in just 24 hours.
In January, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised in the House of Commons on behalf of the NHS for William’s death.
Now Mr Hunt is backing Melissa’s campaign which officially starts on Tuesday 13th September – World Sepsis Day.