AN ADORABLE toddler died in his sleep after contracting sepsis from ‘SCRATCHING his chickenpox’.
Devastated mum Jasmine Shortland is urging all parents to be on high alert, after losing her son Bryan-Andrew.
The adorable three-year-old was found in bed cold and unresponsive by his gran on August 11 last year
The three-year-old was found in bed after passing away in the night, while staying at his gran’s house on August 11 last year.
Jasmine, 23, was originally told Bryan-Andrew had died from sudden infant death syndrome.
But, in February this year, it emerged he had died from streptococcus A septicaemia, also know as blood poisoning, that was triggered by his chickenpox.
The toddler’s heartbreaking last words to his mum were ‘I love you’, she recalled.
The mum-of-four said her son had appeared perfectly healthy aside from a sore neck the day he died.
She claims it was after a post mortem that doctors revealed the infection was likely to have been caused by Bryan-Andrew scratching one of his chickenpox.
Mum Jasmine Shortland was initially told her son probably died of sudden infant death.
But post mortem results showed Bryan-Andrew, pictured with is little brother Ivan, had contracted strep A bacteria, which developed into sepsis
The barmaid, from Yeovil, in Somerset, said: “I was just shocked. How can a three-year-old boy catch something that’s so rare?
“My mind is just so boggled by it.
“Apparently he must have scratched one of his chickenpox and that’s how the infection got in.
I think it is important to know what can happen when you least expect it. I thought chickenpox was normal. Every child has it
Jasmine Shortland, Bryan-Andrew’s Mum
“It is so rare. I am trying to raise more awareness to other mums.”
She urged other mums to get clued up, adding: “If your child has chickenpox, it’s something that can lead to infection.”
“I think it is important to know what can happen when you least expect it.
“I thought chickenpox was normal. Every child has it.
“My other child had it and he was absolutely fine. He had no problems at all.”
Mum Jasmine is desperate to raise awareness among other mums, urging them to be aware of the rare complication of chickenpox
When Bryan-Andrew complained of a stiff neck and his face became swollen, Jasmine suspected he might have mumps.
The three-year-old and his brother Austin were staying with their grandmother that night, because their mum didn’t want their brother, Ivan, who was four months old at the time, to catch chickenpox.
When the boys’ gran went to wake them up she discovered Bryan-Andrew was cold and wouldn’t wake up.
SILENT KILLER What is sepsis, are you at risk and what are the signs and symptoms to watch out for in your child?
She dialled 99 and they performed CPR but it was too late.
Jasmine recalled: “The night before he was running around. He was happy, laughing and joking.
“It just doesn’t make sense.”
She said her stepdad came round to break the horrific news that her eldest son had died.
“I ran to my mum’s house, I thought, ‘this can’t be right’.
“I spoke to him on the phone the night before he died and he told me he loved me and I said ‘I’ll see you soon and give you cuddles’.”
Jasmine said to all mums: “If your child has chickenpox, it’s something that can lead to an infection”
The mum-of-four said while she knew of the dangers of strep B bacteria, she had never heard of strep A until the post mortem results came through.
Doctors told the family it is very rare, and as a result often isn’t picked up by parents.
“He had no rash, nothing that you would normally have,” mum Jasmine said.
“His body was so small he couldn’t fight it and it turned into sepsis.”
Doctors reassured Jasmine that she and her family could have done nothing to prevent Bryan-Andrew’s death.
A post mortem report suggested the three-year-old probably developed strep A by scratching one of his chickenpox scabs, which then developed into sepsis.
Jasmine said her boyfriend Josh, Bryan-Andrew’s stepdad, has been her rock through her heartache
After losing Bryan-Andrew, the couple, pictured with their son Ivan, one, faced fresh heartache when Jasmine suffered a miscarriage weeks later
Jasmine said: “The doctor said that even if we took him to the hospital and gave him antibiotics it wouldn’t have helped him.
“The only comfort I’ve got is that he was asleep and he wasn’t in pain.”
After losing Bryan-Andrew, the grieving mum discovered that she was ten weeks pregnant but tragically suffered a miscarriage due to the large amount of stress she was under.
Jasmine said: “I didn’t find out until I had stomach ache. It was absolutely awful. I nearly lost my life.
THOUGH RARE DEADLY COMPLICATIONS CAN STRIKE AFTER CHICKENPOX
Complications from chickenpox can occur, but they are not common in healthy people who get the disease.People who may get a serious case of chickenpox and may be at high risk for complications include:
People with weakened immune systems are also at higher risk because of illness or medications; for example,
People with HIV/AIDS or cancer
Patients who have had transplants
People on chemotherapy, immunosuppressive medications, or long-term use of steroids
Serious complications from chickenpox include:
bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissues in children including group A streptococcal infections
infection or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis, cerebellar ataxia)
blood stream infections (sepsis)
Some people with serious complications from chickenpox can become so sick that they need to be hospitalised.Chickenpox can also cause death.Some deaths from chickenpox continue to occur in healthy, unvaccinated children and adults.Many of the healthy adults who died from chickenpox contracted the disease from their unvaccinated children.
“I lost 75 per cent of my body’s blood.
“The nurses said there was someone watching over me that day and I knew it was Bryan-Andrew.
“I lost two children in the space of a month and a half.
“I said she was probably a girl. Bryan-Andrew always wanted a little sister and now he’s looking after her.”
Jasmine said the reality of losing Bryan-Andrew has not yet sunk in.
Josh pictured with Bryan-Andrew’s brothers, Austin and Ivan
Jasmine has since given birth to her fourth son, Isaac, who is five months old
“When I go to his grave it just doesn’t feel right talking to a head stone.
“I should be talking to him.
“He should be starting school this year. It is the milestones that kill me the most.”
“I had to carry him down the aisle on the day of his funeral.
“I should have seen him at the end of an aisle looking at his bride.
“It is still hard for everyone. It’s still really raw. It broke me.”
Jasmine said if it weren’t for Josh and their three boys, she probably wouldn’t have survived losing Bryan-Andrew
The 23-year-old said it is only her partner Josh Wescott, 21, and their three children Isaac, five months, Ivan, one and Austin, two, that are keeping her going.
She said: “It has made our relationship stronger. Josh has been my rock. He has been amazing.
“Bryan-Andrew was his stepson and he took him in as his own.”
She admitted: “If they weren’t here I probably wouldn’t be.
“It’s the worst feeling you could ever have.”