Mum’s plea to raise profile of infection

Jonathan and Sarah Carter with their nine-month-old son Jaxson.

Jonathan and Sarah Carter with their nine-month-old son Jaxson.

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A mum has spoken out to warn parents-to-be about the infection which left her newborn son fighting for his life.

Sarah Carter, 35, contracted Group B Streptococcus (GBS) while pregnant and passed the infection on to her fourth child, Jaxson, now nine months old.

At what should have been a joyful time for the family, Jaxson was in intensive care receiving treatment for sepsis and pneumonia caused by the infection.

And although the brave tot pulled through, Sarah, who lives in Siddal wih her husband Jonathan, is now pleading for expectant parents to make themselves aware of GBS.

Pregnant women can pass the bacteria on to their babies and despite it being the most common cause of severe infection in newborns, it is not routinely tested for in the UK.

Speaking in Group B Strep awareness month, Sarah said: “Jaxson was five hours old when the midwife came in and registered the sounds he was making.

“He was distressed and wouldn’t settle or feed. There had been no complications at all throughout the pregnancy and we were just in shock because we had a newborn baby and he was rushed away.

“He spent three days in intensive care. I didn’t want to go and see him because I was so scared, but now I don’t want to leave him.

“He was very, very ill and had pneumonia and sepsis, but he really held his own. I was told it was a good job I gave birth when I did, because Group B Strep can cause stillbirth.”

Now, Sarah wants to raise awareness about the condition to prevent other parents from the same distress. And a £35 home-testing pack could be all it takes to find out if you are at risk.

“I had never heard of Group B Strep prior to going into hospital, but I really want pregnant women to be aware,” Sarah added.“I just can’t understand why we don’t know more about it, meningitis is so well publicised, but Group B Strep is the lead up to it.I would say get the test, it’s £35 but what’s that when it’s your child?” Visit www.gbss.org.uk for more information.