Parents John and Louise Wills were only able to spend a few days with their newborn Eibhlin when an unexpected tragedy ripped their daughter away from them.
At first they thought everything was okay. Louise had a successful delivery. Their little bundle of joy ate and slept well.
When Eibhlin first showed signs of distress, both parents didn’t think much of it. After all, John had just recently gotten a cold. It wasn’t any cause for alarm.
However, when their daughter’s color changed and grew increasing listless, they immediately rushed to the hospital to have her checked.
According to a Mama Mia story, “John and Louise never suspected a thing but tragically she deteriorated quickly. To their horror, just hours after they arrived at emergency, Eibhlin was pronounced dead.”
She died one week after she was brought home.
“She was handed to Louise and I wrapped in her blanket with her little eyes closed,” John told Mama Mia.
Adding insult to the injury, the couple was shocked to find that the cause of their daughter’s death was a cold sore virus.
“They did their best but they couldn’t save her,” John said to RTE. “Cot death was ruled out. There were no red flags until it was far too late.”
No one exactly knew how Eibhlin had been exposed to the virus, but the parents suspect that she got it from someone in the hospital.
“In a place where she should have been safest, she contracted it there,” Louise told RTE. “It could be a simple accident or someone accidentally touching their cold sore and then giving her a drip or food or doing something.”
In a statement given to Mama Mia, the grieving parents said:
“In Eibhlin’s case it was Disseminated Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus 1, which incubates for a time and results in multiple organ failure but it remained asymptomatic until it was too late. By the time the symptoms were evident it had (according to the post-mortem) devastated her bowel and liver.”
Now John and Louise are using their story to raise awareness against cold sores and its lethal consequences.
“We are sharing our story in Eibhlín’s memory so we can create awareness about the dangers of cold sores and new born babies.”
What is a cold sore?
Caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores are small blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth. They usually clear up seven to ten days without treatment.
According to NHS, a person can get infected by the virus and not show symptoms until days later.
“Cold sores often start with a tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth,” NHS says. “Small fluid-filled sores then appear, usually on the edges of your lower lip.”
Cold sores are the most infectious when they burst or rupture, but even when completely healed they can still infect others.
“Avoid close contact with others until your cold sore has completely healed and disappeared,” NHS says. “However, there’s no need to stay away from work or miss school if you or your child have a cold sore.”
Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Philippines