Our beautiful daughter Natalie was taken so suddenly and unexpectedly by this horrific disease, meningococcal septicaemia, in the early hours of Friday 4th December 2015.
On the Monday my husband came home early from work after being sick and having a headache. So when Natalie began with a headache and being sick on Tuesday morning, we assumed she had picked up the same virus. Over the next couple of days she was a bit up and down - she managed some fluids and even a bite to eat. Typical Natalie she was quite perky - nothing to cause us serious concern. By Thursday she started to feel sick again and complained her muscles were hurting. Sadly, and now all too late, we now know muscle and joint pain is one of the signs of meningococcal septicaemia but we had no idea at the time. Natalie still managed a couple of drinks on Thursday lunchtime and had no fever or rash. We had decided we would take her to the doctor the next day if things didn't improve. There was no next day for Natalie. At 10.30pm she took a sudden turn for the worse and collapsed. The paramedics and A&E worked on her - by this time the septicaemia was ransacking her body. Just 4 hours later she was gone.
Natalie was such a happy, funny soul with a sparkly personality. She was full of kindness, always helping others and she had the most radiant infectious smile. She had so many plans and dreams for her future and we were excited for her adult path ahead. She had overcome a few battles in her life and now was preparing for a bright and exciting future.
Our world has fallen apart, and we are broken. We've had so many comforting messages since she died, including some from people we didn't even know, about Natalie's kindness, smile and the difference she made to their lives. We are so proud to have been her parents and that she touched so many hearts. Natalie will continue to be our shining light for evermore.
Her body was invaded by this awful killer and at the moment there are no answers as to why. We want to raise as much money and awareness as possible to enable research into why and to prevent other families from experiencing this devastation and pain.
Natalie, you're on our mind all day; the last thing we think of before we go to sleep and the first thing we think of when we wake up. We miss you dreadfully and cannot imagine the future without you.
Always in our hearts. Mummy, Daddy, Alex and Sophie xxxx