Leo’s Story

My baby boy, Leo, was born 9 days early on the 9th August 2018 at 12:32pm. Just utter perfection. Little did we know we would only have 10 days with him, Leo sadly passed away on the 19th August [email redacted]m.
Leo was such a calm baby, he never cried just little cub whimpers, little snores that melted your heart. Leo was perfectly fine, no indication that anything was wrong for all the days he was here. He was such a mummy’s boy, he loved to be close to me, he became my comfort and I like to think I was his.
Saturday 18th August 2018, Leos actual due date, I woke up (early hrs) and he was crying, we had never heard him cry until then. This was on and off throughout the rest of the early Saturday. I did everything you can possibly think of to settle him. Nothing worked. I began to feel helpless and frustrated.
9am, I couldn't bare his distress so I headed over to the walk in centre. He hadn’t fed since midnight and was still crying. We sat and waited to be seen...he suddenly started to bleed from his mouth, ulcers in his mouth as big as his tongue appeared an some were bleeding. This all happened within 15 minutes of leaving the house. We were rushed to the North Manchester Childrens Hospital, and straight into A&E.. the doctors and nurses had their hands straight on him, taking his blood and giving him fluids, glucose and oxygen. I had no idea what was going on other than I could see my baby in so much pain, he was so brave letting the doctors do what they needed to. Eventually Leo was struggling to breathe so they induced a coma and stopped him breathing for himself.. It took 8 long hrs of poking, prodding, bleeding and machines beeping until he was stable to be moved to RMCH, again they didn’t stop helping him with blood transfusions, platelets and oxygen. I couldn’t be by his side and hold his hand but I stayed at arms length and prayed for him, all I wanted was to hold and kiss my boy.
Leo struggled through the night, his kidneys swelled and stopped functioning, his liver also started to fail. The resus team were called on stand by and my Son was transferred to a private room. I was told to consider having him baptized, which I did that afternoon. We stood around praying for him, giving him and myself the strength we both needed. The consultant then came round and told us Leo’s condition had got worse, they had found a blood clot and swelling on his brain. All his organs were failing.
My poor baby had fought so much that now it was time for me as a mother to make a choice I wish nobody else has to do. For his sake, I chose to stop his treatment and let him rest, he had done so much, his tiny body couldn’t do much more. The doctors couldn't control his blood pressure, oxygen or oozing anymore.. It was time.
I got to hold my boy for the last time, I held him so tight, I wanted him to feel safe and I told him it was time for him to stop fighting and become the angel he was born to be. I held him as he took his last breathes and my heart broke.

Leo was diagnosed with HSV-2, a condition that was passed on to him through giving birth, a condition that could have been found before labour, and all this trauma could have been avoided. Leo could have still been here with us today. So I tell his story because I want to encourage every pregnant lady to get tested for herpes, no matter how long you have been with your partner, you may still be a carrier. I had thrush many times throughout my pregnancy, a lot of the symptoms for thrush are the same as having herpes. HSV2 took my newborns life in a matter of hours. HSV2 can be detected if the test is requested. HSV2 can lie dormant for months without a single outbreak. HSV2 has thrush like symptoms. I had complained many times of having thrush, I had no idea of HSV2 and throughout the pregnancy, it was never mentioned.
My boy would be here today if I was tested, treated and a c section was offered. I believe that this test should be compulsory and offered at the booking appointment and during the third trimester. I want to tell Leos story and hopefully bring awareness to everyone, this infection is life threatening and not enough is known. Please even if you have been with your partner for a long time, get tested!! It takes 5 minutes and will save your child's life.

I have created this page because many family members wanted to meet Leo and buy him things, as many of you know we had everything he needed for the first few months of his life, and so if those that wanted to get him gifts, I ask you to help me raise money for the teams that took care of Leo, and help the RMCH save family’s from losing a child. They all work so hard and it goes unnoticed!
Thank you for taking the time to read Leo’s story and I would like to thank you in advance for your donations.

Love Kira & Leo xxxxxx

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Kira Aldcroft
Prestwich, North West England, United Kingdom

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