Halesworth parents pledge to honour Oliver's memory
PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:19 03 November 2017
The parents of a six-year-old boy who died suddenly after a short battle with illness have pledged to raise awareness about the dangers of meningitis B.
Oliver Hall, whose family are from Halesworth, died in the early hours of Tuesday, October 24, having been admitted to James Paget University Hospital the previous evening.
Hospital staff did everything they could to save Oliver’s life, but the bacterial infection had already become too much for his body to withstand.
Bryan and Georgie Hall have had their lives turned upside down by Oliver’s unexpected death, but highlighted that the precious memories made during Oliver’s life will live forever.
“Oliver loved riding his bike, being outside with his friends, spending time with his family - everything a six-year-old boy loves to do,” said Mrs Hall.
“He and his brother Charlie had become really good mates and Ollie would always look out for him.
“He was such a happy boy who was filled with love, life, excitement and kindness, and we will be forever proud of the person that he was.
Mr Hall added: “Ollie had a real passion for music and he’d sit in the back of the car drumming along to whatever was playing!.
“He achieved so much in his short life.”
Since Oliver’s death, Mr and Mrs Hall have begun working with Meningitis Now, a charity dedicated to raising awareness about meningitis and campaigning for the wider availability of vaccines.
The meningitis B vaccine has been available as part of NHS routine for babies under 12 months since September 2015. However, Meningitis Now argues that a vaccine for everyone would be cost-effective in comparison to the later treatment that is required after the infection is contracted.
Mr and Mrs Hall would like to thank hospital staff at James Paget and the Children’s Acute Transport Services (CATS) team for their dedication, as well as mortuary manager Daryl Bourn for her second-to-none care and compassion.
What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord, and can be caused by different bacterial and viral organisms.
Babies and toddlers are more likely to contract meningitis and symptoms include fever, vomiting, headaches and a rash.
Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman, who lost his own son to meningitis, said: “On behalf of Meningitis Now, which represents thousands of families affected by the devastation caused by meningitis and associated diseases, I pass on our heartfelt sympathy to Oliver’s family and friends.
“Recognising the signs and symptoms, trusting your instincts, early diagnosis and early treatment can all improve the outcomes of meningitis and make the difference between life and death.”
If you would like more information about meningitis, call the Meningitis Now helpline on 0808 80 10 388 or visit meningitisnow.org.
• A celebration of Oliver’s life will be held at Henham Park Barns on November 20 at 1pm. Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes; bright colours are also welcome. Donations can be made by visiting the ‘Forever Funds’ page on the Meningitis Now website, where you can leave a message in Oliver’s memory.