Actor Jason Watkins has spoken out about his heartbreaking struggle to deal with the sudden death of his two-year-old daughter from sepsis.
Loose Women viewers praised the W1A star for speaking up to raise awareness for the infection, which was left undiagnosed despite trips to the hospital.
Maude passed away on New Year’s Day, 2001, in her sleep after exhibiting flu-like symptoms that worried Jason and wife Clara, but were put down to a nasty bacterial chest infection.
‘I think as a parent, and it’s crucial to sepsis in a way, of your instinct leads you in a certain way you should be able to follow it up. So I said at the time “well I think, it doesn’t feel right”,’ he explained, adding that he then took Maude to A&E to speak to a paediatrician.
Given antibiotics it was again put down to a bad infection but the symptoms reoccurred and were more severe, and the little girl was struggling to breathe and would pass out in the car on the way to the hospital.
‘She was given a sort of stand procedural treatment at that point. But why wouldn’t you?,’ he told the panel.
‘It was difficult for me to explain down the food chain what it was like in the car. So we were discharged again, her temperature was falling, she seemed better, and she was, given antibiotics again, and again stuff for her throat.’
‘They said: “just be aware of her the next day” and this was New Years’ eve. We took her back, we did everything the doctors told us to do that night, not too hot and not too cold.
‘[We] put her down, and in the morning our other daughter, who shared her room at the time, came in and said: “I can’t wake Maude.”
Jason’s now turning his attention on helping other parents know the symptoms as much as possible.
Symptoms within children include: breathing very fast, fits or convulsions, a pale or bluish complexion and a rash that doesn’t fade when you press it.
They may feel abnormally cold to the touch as well or be difficult to wake up.
However, in many cases sepsis can be hidden and appear to be symptoms of something else, making it difficult to detect, but blood tests will help confirm the issue sooner.
Charities are now working on improving awareness of the deadly infection, with Jason and his wife patrons of Child Bereavement UK and raising awareness of sepsis.
He told the panel: ‘There is a satisfaction, if that’s the right word, in helping other people. Talking about the sepsis cases that I read and think ‘I’ve got to stop that happening.
‘With Child Bereavement UK, it’s a way of saying you’re not alone. It’s a very dark pit that you can’t get out of. You can’t see an end to it, how could you possibly get out of something like that?
‘But there are people who have, and do, and there is support.’
Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.
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