Distraught Doncaster mum shares heartbreaking last photo of son as he dies from meningitis as warning to other parents

This heartbreaking photo captures the final moments a Doncaster mum shared with her six-year-old son before he died of meningitis - just two DAYS after he developed symptoms.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd February 2017, 2:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:01 am
Sharon's last few moments with her son Marc. (Photo: SWNS).
Sharon's last few moments with her son Marc. (Photo: SWNS).

Sharon Carver, 37, posted the emotional picture of her lad Marc 'MJ' Poole just hours before his death. Sharon is snapped cradling Marc in her arms as a warning to other parents to spot the deadly disease - as he died just two days after showing symptoms. She has warned parents to think of meningitis when their child is showing signs of vomiting, a rash, lethargy and a temperature of over 40 degrees. Mum-of-two Sharon of Mexborough, said: "I don't want any parent to go through what me and Marc went through - I cannot describe the feeling of losing a child."You watch TV, films and read these things about other people - it's frightening how quick this horrible condition can take hold." She added: "You don't expect something like this to happen to you - I never ever want anyone to lose a child like we did to this." She says MJ was his normal, happy self on May 16, 2015 - but two days later Sharon and dad Marc Poole had to plan for life without their little boy. Sharon said she gave him Calpol because he complained of a headache and thought that would have fixed the ailment - but she was wrong as her whole world fell apart. Explaining his symptoms, Sharon said: "He later started vomiting and his eyes started rolling. "He became lethargic and was really hot but his hands and feet were like ice - we knew then something was seriously wrong." Sharon contacted the out-of-hours GP straight away and was told to take him to Doncaster Royal Infirmary immediately. MJ's condition worsened and he was transferred to Sheffield Children's Hospital - but doctors were unable to save him and he died in the early hours of May 18. Sharon said: "I just sat there and thought 'why?'. Why us, why little MJ, he didn't deserve any of this." Following an inquest into the MJ's death in February 2016, Coroner Nicola Mundy said MJ died from an infection which led to septic shock which caused his organs to fail. Sharon is now one of the many people backing plans to install hi-tech equipment to diagnose the killer disease within a matter of hours - giving better survival rates. Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Teaching Hospitals Trust, the organisation running Doncaster Royal Infirmary, is planning to install equipment which could detect and diagnose meningitis a lot faster. Sharon added: "Anything that can save lives, children like MJ, then we're fully behind the hospital in bringing this equipment in." The £30K-a-year equipment would diagnose meningitis-like conditions within an hour - instead of current testing which can take up to seven days. David Purdue, chief operating officer at the Trust, said: "Film Array is a new technology that can diagnose causes of Meningitis and Encephalitis within an hour - compared to current testing which can take up to seven days. "Meningitis remains a big killer, with a 10 per cent chance of mortality, therefore by making use of this device patients can be diagnosed much sooner leading to prompt treatment. "This cutting-edge technology has been used in a number of other organisations with positive effects and we are seeking support from charitable funds to pilot the technology for a year. "If successful, we hope to offer this method of testing to the people of Doncaster and beyond."

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