A young mum has become an ambassador for a charity close to her heart as she fights to raise awareness of a condition which nearly claimed the life of her newborn daughter.
Ame Edmonds, of Stanningfield, is flying the flag for Group B Strep Support after her daughter Lilee developed life-threatening meningitis and septicaemia as a result of the condition within hours of being born.
Lilee, hailed as a ‘miracle’ by doctors, survived and recently celebrated her fourth birthday but Miss Edmonds wants to prevent other families going through the same ordeal.
The 22-year-old did not know she had Group B Strep which is a natural bacterium carried by between 20 to 30 per cent of adults and can be passed from mother to baby during labour.
Miss Edmonds, who is still affected by the condition and had septicaemia this year, said: “When I first knew she was ill I just felt numb - it’s such an overpowering feeling of emotion, sadness, guilt and devastation. I felt like it was my fault that my baby was going to die because of me. I can’t explain how horrific it was. I’m very thankful and lucky that Lilee is here. It’s a different story for a lot of other mums and parents - their children are having to suffer, babies are dying.”
After being appointed a volunteer ambassador for Group B Strep Support, she is now trying to raise the profile of the condition as the UK is one of the very few developed countries which does not routinely screen pregnant women for the infection. While backing a petition by her charity calling on the Government to do more, she has raised funds by completing the Ipswich 5k Fun Run and encouraged celebrities such as Peter Andre to spread awarenes on social media. Next month she will also host an assembley at King Edward VI School, which has organised a fancy dress day in aid of the charity.
To sign the e-petition, visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/60515