A HEARTBROKEN dad is urging parents to take heed of the early warning signs of serious illnesses after his son died suddenly of sepsis.
Stuart and Elizabeth Tagg, of Ashton, were devastated when their two-year-old son Thomas, who had chickenpox, quickly deteriorated and died on June 23.
To help them come to terms with his death, they have been working with UK Sepsis Trust and Stuart, 36, is keen to warn other parents of tell-tale signs.
He said: “Thomas had the normal symptoms of chickenpox. He had a high temperature and didn’t want to eat much apart from fluids.
“But then he deteriorated rapidly at home. He was on the sofa and wasn’t responding to me. He stopped breathing. I called an ambulance, but by the time he arrived, he had stopped breathing completely. I didn’t know what to do - it was terrifying.
“He never came round at the hospital. It was so devastating.
“Tests revealed that Thomas had developed Group A streptococcal sepsis. Fighting chicken pox had left Thomas weak and suppressed his immune system, leaving him unable to fight the deadly infection. His little body was just not able to fight anymore. The speed that Thomas was taken from us was absolutely staggering.
“I just want people to be aware of sepsis and the symptoms, which are a rash, high temperature and lethargy.
“Also look out for a child not passing urine and not eating, but only wanting to drink fluids.
“People know to check for meningitis but not many people know about sepsis.
“People should not be frightened of going to hospital.
“Thomas was a lively, inquisitive and healthy two-year-old boy who loved life and did everything with either a huge smile or a mischievous grin on his face. Things have been hard, but his older brother, Lucas, six, has coped really well.”
Stuart and Elizabeth set up a Just Giving page for people to give money in November and Stuart is also running the London Marathon dressed as Peppa Pig in April.
He said: “Peppa Pig was his favourite character and so he would have liked that. I have done a lot of training and I have also done seven marathons in the past.
“Our lives have been forever darkened by the loss of our precious son, but one positive to keep us going is the thought we can work alongside The UK Sepsis Trust and raise funds and awareness to prevent other families from having to suffer like we do on a daily basis.”
Thomas’s family is also hosting a charity night at Stubshaw Cross Labour Club on March 4, which would have been his third birthday. Tickets are already sold out.
Anyone who wishes to donate can visit www.justgiving.com/thomasjacobtagg/