UK mom Melissa Mead lost her 1-year-old son William back in 2014, after a case of strep caused an abscess in his lung, and doctors didn't realize he had developed sepsis—a life-threatening condition that occurs when your immune system essentially goes into overdrive trying to fight an infection—until it was too late.
It's a heartbreaking story made all the more tragic by the fact that the little boy's death was preventable. Which is why—currently pregnant with her second baby—Melissa has now made it her mission to raise awareness. She recently shared an emotional video on the Facebook page A Mother Without a Child, in which she holds up hand-written signs that tell her story as tears fall freely from her eyes.
"Just 17 days after his 1st birthday, William died from sepsis," one of the cards reads. "I found him in his cot. My baby was gone."
Melissa then goes on to explain, through the signs, that she first learned the cause of death was sepsis by reading it on her son's death certificate. "No one mentioned sepsis before William died," she tells us. "I thought that it must be rare, but I quickly learned it is not rare. Every 3.5 seconds someone in the world dies from sepsis. It happens regularly and does not discriminate, it spares no ethnic group, no social class, no age or geographic region."
In fact, sepsis is the most common pathway to death due to an infection, she wrote. "Did you know that sepsis can be caused by chest infections, urinary tract infections, burns, stings or bites, to name a few? No, me either. If caught early enough, antibiotics and fluids are all that is required."
Wow. Our hearts just break for this courageous mom, who has somehow managed to find the strength to share her story in the face of tragedy. ((Hugs))
At the end of the video—which was posted over the weekends and has already been shared close to 500,000 times—Melissa asks her followers to help her spread the word. "Tell people that September is Sepsis Awareness Month," she pleads through her cards. "Tell someone about William and some of the facts you have learned today."
We can't think of a better way to honor her sweet angel baby, taken too soon. If you'd like to make a donation to the cause in William's name, please click here.