A COUPLE whose lives were destroyed when their baby daughter died of Strep B are rebuilding their lives after welcoming a new baby daughter.
Nicole Brown and Chris Young, of Kilwinning, were left heartbroken when their 21-day-old daughter Lola died after contracting a fatal strain of Streptococcus B bacteria in March 2013.
But almost two years on from the tragedy the couple, along with Nicole’s mum Jackie Watt, are finally moving forward and will celebrate their first Christmas this month with their beautiful nine-month-old baby girl Brooke.
Jackie said: “Brooke has totally changed everything and while she can never replace Lola she is making a big difference.
"I know for me I didn’t think it was possible to feel this way about someone. She is just so precious.” After Lola’s tragic death mum Nicole was devastated when doctors told her she had been carrying the infection whilst pregnant and passed it on to her baby girl during her labour.
But since then medics have admitted that Lola had actually suffered from late onset Strep B - meaning she had contracted it in the days after her birth, not from her devoted mum.
Jackie told the Times: “Obviously it doesn’t change the outcome but for Nicole to know that she didn’t pass anything on is a huge comfort. The doctors told us it could have been passed from a touch or a kiss from someone who was unknowingly carrying the virus. I think finding this out has helped us cope but it also makes it all the more frightening to know that something so fatal an be so easily passed on.” In the months following Lola’s death Jackie launched a campaign to have all expectant mothers tested for Strep B in an effort to stop other families suffering a similar loss.Her tireless and dedicated campaigning has seen her go all the way to Holyrood where she has appealed to the Scottish Parliament to make changes in the law.
In March this year – exactly a year after Lola’s death – Jackie sat in Parliament alongside Jane Plumb, Chief Executive of Group B Strep Support and gave evidence to a committee of MSPs and presented her petition.
The Public Petitions Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the UK National Screening Committee and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists By June the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and NHS Health Scotland and in October Jackie’s campaign progressed again when the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and NHS Health Scotland.
With the campaign gathering strength Jackie is hoping to hear some positive news in the new year. In the meantime though, she is looking forward to a family Christmas with Nicole, Chris and her beautiful baby granddaughter.
She added: “Last Christmas was honestly one of the worst days of our lives because it should have been Lola’s first Christmas, but instead we were mourning her.
“This year we are excited and happy again and will be able to enjoy it. Of course Lola will still be close to our hearts and we will visit her grave and give her a gift too. She will never be gone from our lives.”