A Gold Coast family is mourning after their four-year-old daughter died of a rare bacterial disease.
Norah Rae Tutukaa Terei-Bristowe suffered from fever, headache, lethargy and couldn’t stop vomiting.
She was taken to see a doctor in Upper Coomera, Queensland, where the medic initially thought she had gastroenteritis.
They were relieved at the news and took their daughter home.
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The doctors assumed that the 4-year-old’s symptoms were gastrointestinal problems
But over the weekend, her health deteriorated rapidly and the symptoms worsened. After waking up on Monday, she became limp and unresponsive Gold Coast Bulletin reported.
Her mother and father, Allie and Trey, rushed their daughter to Gold Coast University Hospital.
Doctors there treated her with antibiotics – she had a rare case of bacterial pneumococcal meningitis.
Tragically, she passed away on August 30th.
Described by Allie as “pure sunshine and laughter”, her four-year-old was buried at a traditional Maori funeral in Allambie Gardens surrounded by 300 guests.
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Hospital treatment was not quick enough to save the 4-year-old child
“We said goodbye to our princess on August 30, 2023,” the distraught parents shared in a statement.
“She was surrounded by all her family and will always be in our hearts and we will always cherish our memories of her and all the laughter and joy she brought into our lives.”
They thanked the medical staff and Dr. Sebastian Rimpau from Gold Coast University Hospital, who tried everything to save the little girl.
Allie and Trey also warned other parents, urging them to seek professional help if their child is exhibiting any unusual symptoms.
“If anyone has any doubts about their children, just get them to the hospital as soon as possible,” the couple said. “When we got to the hospital, the treatment couldn’t keep up with how quickly the disease was spreading to her brain.”
“This rare type of meningitis causes severe brain damage and there is no prevention or treatment that can save it.”
A GoFundMe The page was created to help the family deal with the loss of their daughter.
Bacterial pneumococci are a relatively common disease, typically caused by the germ Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, if the infection reaches the brain, it can result in meningitis, a rare and often fatal infection.
Most cases of meningitis occur in children and babies younger than 18 months. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine against the rare strain Norah contracted.
Symptoms of meningitis include fever, rapid breathing, severe headache, rash, lethargy, and difficulty waking up, confusion, or seizures.