A grieving father told of his heartache after his toddler daughter died from sepsis, which the family had mistaken for a winter sick bug.
Eliza Woods, aged two, died after contracting septicemia – or sepsis – believed to be related to a bronchial infection.
Her devastated parents, Mike and Jodie, rushed her to the Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, but tragically Eliza could not be saved.
The parents, who have three other children, had noticed Eliza had a high temperature on December 12, and treated her with prescription medication.
The same week their older children, aged four and six years old, had been off school sick, and they believed Eliza had caught the same bug.
The tot’s temperature was kept under control with medication, and Mike and Jodie believed she was recovering as she was eating and drinking.
Hours before her death Eliza had been playing with Lego at the family home in Rhu, Argyll and Bute – and her parents are now desperate to raise awareness of the killer infection.
Mike said: “Our daughter Eliza died from what looks to have been septicemia.
“Initially we thought it had been brought on by meningitis – turns out that it’s just been a bronchial infection.
“She was just two years and nine months old.
“We like to think we are educated, experienced parents.
“We had four children.
“We’re both trained in paediatric first aid, we know the signs.
“Our kids have had various different health issues, amongst them Eliza had hearing loss and she needed glasses – she loved wearing them.
“A week ago our four-year-old was sent home from school, feeling tired and jaded.
“She slept for the rest of the day and was otherwise fine.
“The following day our six-year-old vomited at school and was obviously sent home.
“He took an hour to recover and was fine from that point on.
“On Thursday lunchtime, Eliza was running a temperature at nursery, so we brought her home.
“She was happy and bright enough, and the following day we planned to take her back to the nursery with prescription medicine to keep her temperature under control.
“In the end we decided to take her with us where we had a travel cot made up for her.
“She was happy enough, slept on and off for the day, and we were able to keep her temperature under control through the medicine.
“At this stage we just thought she had the same bug that the other two kids had had earlier on in the week.
“On Saturday she still had a bit of a temperature, but she was asking for food and drinks and playing with Lego at 11 o’clock.
“At one o’clock she started to show a bit of purpura, a discolouration of the skin caused by inflammation.
“She was rushed to hospital but had died before we could get there.
“Hospital staff did all they could but there was nothing that they could do.
“Our family, friends and community have been fantastic in support, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
In an emotional video plea, tearful Mike said: “But we have one more favour to ask you, and to anyone watching this video – spread this message far and wide.
“If by telling our story we can ensure just one person’s life is saved, one family is saved from this pain, Eliza’s death will not be without reason.”
Generous donors have raised more than £8,000 for the grieving family, who run a nursery in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Around 2.30pm on Saturday, December 14, a two-year-old girl took unwell within her home in Rhu, Helensburgh.
“She was taken to the Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria, where she died a short time later.
“Her family is aware and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.
“A post mortem will take place in due course to establish the exact cause of her death which, at this time, police are not treating as suspicious.”
A statement from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We would like to express our deepest condolences for the family and fully respect their privacy following this tragic event.”
To donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-eliza-woods?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&pc_code=ot_co_dashboard_a&rcid=621cf76c387a4b5aa512d098e1e77a48&fbclid=IwAR2OgTKDz1r2Fnmtlj2PeOfPbkaQipGbldYBDyl2dfoJpiA—9frIVqYRs