A Broughty mother has been appointed as ambassador for a national charity dedicated to fighting a deadly disease.
Laura Beattie from Broughty Ferry has been named as a regional Ambassador for Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).
Meningitis Research Foundation estimates that meningitis and septicaemia affect approximately ten people in the UK and Ireland every day. 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. Children under five and students are most at risk, but the diseases can strike at any age and not all forms are covered by vaccines.
MRF Ambassadors are active members of the charity who all have personal experience of the diseases. They have been asked to take on this new voluntary role because they have the knowledge and skills to represent the organisation at the local and regional level.
Laura said: “My daughter Aila developed Group B Streptococcus meningitis at the age of 3 days in 2010. It manifested as a slight pinprick rash and several spikes in temperature. At first this was discounted by the medical and nursing staff but I became seriously worried and she was eventually sent to NICU at Ninewells. They tried to perform a lumbar puncture but Aila took a turn for the worse, so they just gave her antibiotics. Thankfully after a few days Aila improved enough to move from her incubator to a normal cot and was moved into ward with me. I feel so lucky that Aila not only fought back but did so without any apparent after effects. Had her treatment been delayed further, the outcome would have been so different. I would urge all parents and parents to arm themselves with knowledge of the signs and symptoms of Meningitis and Septicaemia - it could just save a life”.
Mary Millar, Scotland Manager of Meningitis Research Foundation said: “Laura brings many qualities to this role and has been involved with the charity for many years so we are delighted she has agreed to represent the work we do in Tayside.We now have 12 Ambassadors in Scotland, and many others throughout the UK. Our Ambassadors take on a variety of roles from speaking to the local media about our latest campaigns to giving talks in nurseries, schools and colleges across the region. They can also offer tips and resources for local people who want to get involved in fundraising for us; as well as organising, participating in and assisting with events. Laura would welcome any opportunity to talk to local schools and groups and they are invited to contact her directly firstname.lastname@example.org”