Steve Prescott Bridge lights up for Meningitis Awareness Week

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A St Helens mum arranged for the Steve Prescott bridge to be lit up purple to mark Meningitis Awareness Week.

Sue Waring’s son Cieran contracted the virus as a baby and suffered devastating effects, including profound deafness.

Cieran, who was struck down with meningitis as a baby, on the Steve Prescott bridge

Cieran, who was struck down with meningitis as a baby, on the Steve Prescott bridge

She hopes lighting up the Steve Prescott bridge will help raise awareness of meningitis.

Sue said: “My son Cieran contracted meningococcal meningitis in 2005 when he was nine months old. Four doctors ignored me and also my son’s symptoms.

“Cieran was left with devastating after effects including profound deafness, cerebral atrophy and epilepsy. This is why I’m supporting Meningitis Awareness Week.

“Everyone needs to be aware of the symptoms of the disease, be vigilant, and I would say to parents, trust your instincts and return to a health professional if symptoms progress.”

Meningitis Awareness Week is run by Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).

The charity estimates that there have been on average around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. They are deadly diseases that can strike without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs. Babies, toddlers and young adults are most at risk.

MRF’s chief executive Vinny Smith said: “We are so grateful to Sue for raising awareness in Merseyside during Meningitis Awareness Week.

“MRF funds vital scientific research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia but there are still some forms of the disease which are not covered by vaccines so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms.”

Check that you know the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia at www.meningitis.org/symptoms and share the Meningitis Awareness Week campaign (www.meningitis.org/maw2016) with everyone you know using #MRFAwarenessWeek.

The Steve Prescott links St Helens town centre and Saints’ Langtree Park and is named after the inspirational ex-rugby league player, who underwent a series of gruelling endurance challenges following his terminal cancer diagnosis.