A woman who has campaigned to raise awareness of sepsis following the death of her one-year-old son has been left “humbled” with the award of an MBE.
Melissa Mead’s son William died in December 2014 of blood poisoning following a chest infection, which could have been treated with antibiotics.
William had been ill for six to eight weeks before he died and had been seen by GPs six times before his death.
Since William’s death she and her husband Paul have campaigned to raise awareness of the condition and she has now received recognition for her work with the honour.
Mrs Mead, who is an ambassador for UK Sepsis Trust, met the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt as part of her campaign to make parents aware of the condition that kills thousands of people every year.
The campaign successfully reached millions of parents and carers of new-borns to four-year-old children, to help them recognise the symptoms of sepsis and know when to seek urgent medical help.
“I was quite stunned really and I never expected it because I don’t do what I do because I want any thanks and a pat on the back,” she told the Press Association.
“I am humbled to be honest, that what I do has been recognised, but equally I am thankful that I am able to do it and have an impact on other people.
“I received a Christmas card this year from someone and inside it said ‘This is a picture of my son on his first day at big school and because of you he is still here’.
“That is the best kind of recognition. Equally I am blown away and very humbled and at least I know what I am doing is having an impact and that is the main thing for me.
“I hope that by speaking out, as ultimately we are just the same as any other family, and if we have the courage to speak out hopefully it will encourage others to do the same.
“That has always been my main message to health care professionals – listen to parents and loved ones because ultimately they know their children and relatives the best.
“That’s what I aim to do and it’s just my way of being William’s mum now.”
Mrs Mead added: “I am very humbled to be amongst an inspirational bunch of people as I am just little old me from Cornwall.”