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A Message from the Heart
I'm a mother of three gorgeous little girls Tia (6yrs), Tilly (4yrs) and Lucy-Anna (2yrs) and like any parent would be, me and my husband Adam's worst nightmare is for anything to ever happen to our girls, anything to ever touch them or hurt them in any way, shape or form.

That nightmare became a devastating reality when Tilly caught Meningococcal Septicaemia. This is a deadly form of meningitis which there is still no vaccination for. It happened so quickly that in just minutes she was covered from head to toe in small, reddish bruise like marks. Tilly was rushed to hospital in an ambulance at top speed, but the marks were getting larger and larger by the second. Still today the images won't leave my mind - Tilly reaching out for me: "mum-mum.mum-mum..mum-mum". She drifted in and out of consciousness as I tried to tell her, and convince myself, that she was going to be fine even though within 10 minutes of arriving at the hospital I was told to prepare myself because my beautiful baby girl was probably going to die. Never, Never.. NEVER!!!!! Could anything ever be that cruel to take such a massive part of my life away from me? My little baby who makes everybody so happy with her smiles? IT'S NOT HAPPENING TO TILLY! My husband arrived as soon as he could shortly after Tilly and I arrived and we immediately went to see her. I had to tell him that Tilly may die.

A safe and quick transfer from University Hospital Durham through to Newcastle General was vital as Tilly was critically ill. A blood transfusion took placed during the journey and I wasn't allowed to be with her. I was told that she could die while this was happening. Hours passed by in silence in the paediatric intensive care unit of Newcastle General Hospital until it was finally confirmed that Tilly was still alive. The next time we saw her she was lying in a bed, tubes everywhere, looking so tiny and beaten by the disease. After 3 days of a bedside vigil we still didn't know that we were ever going to hear our little girl shout her cheerful "Hi-Ya" ever again, however we held onto the fact that she was a strong little girl with a massive personality. who would never let anything like this take her away from her fun filled life.

Every morning the consultant did his rounds and I would start shaking and feeling sick as he answered my questions. Was Tilly going to be ok?..He knew how sick I felt every time he came near me so on that day he just winked and smiled and said "she's getting better". I collapsed in tears - I had never been so relieved in my life. Tilly was and still is a very lucky little girl and there is not one day that goes by now where I don't think and remember what happened to her and what could have happened. Slowly, Tilly's hands and feet turned black and after a month of being in Newcastle General Hospital, working with the wonderful staff there, we realised that Tilly was going to be ok but her hands and toes were already dead and couldn't be saved. A small price to pay for getting my baby back.

Everybody has been so kind and wonderful with words of love and donations for Tilly. Every parent wants the best for their children and we want Tilly to have a normal life like the rest of us. It is so unfair that things like this happen to anyone but when you see a helpless little baby lying there with tubes coming from every part of their body and their body suddenly turning black you want to give that baby the world when they finally get better and that's what we want to do for Tilly. We want to make her dreams come true and I am sure that a pair of new hands would be a top priority on her list, and one of my dreams would be to hold her hand again. If we have the help to raise some money we can make Tilly's dreams come true. Can you please help us?

Charity no.1090505. This number belongs to Meningitis Help Charitable Trust, permission has been given for its use.