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Dads issue urgent warning after their miracle baby died days after his first birthday

Dads issue urgent warning after their miracle baby died days after his first birthday

Their son tragically died just one week after his first birthday.

Two dads have issued an urgent plea to other parents after the devastating passing of their baby boy, just one week after his first birthday.

Fathers Leigh and Justin Khoo, welcomed their son Owen in March of last year, 29 weeks prematurely.

Not only did Owen weigh just 1.44kg when he was born, but he was blind due to a retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) diagnosis.

Dads Leigh and Justin have issued a devastating warning to other parents.

Although the doting dads were able to give Owen the love and support he needed to overcome the difficult hand he had been dealt from birth, things took a shocking turn for the worst.

One week after Owen's first birthday, Leigh and Justin found their son unconscious in his crib.

It turned out that their young son had contracted meningococcal, a severe, and often deadly, disease that can cause infections in the lining of the brain, spinal cord and blood stream.

Although babies can be vaccinated against the strain of meningococcal that Owen had contracted when they're 12 months old, his premature birth meant that he was not yet old enough to be treated against the disease.

After a frightening four days in hospital, little Owen sadly passed away on March 17.

The parents' baby boy Owen sadly passed away in March.

As they grieve the loss of their son, dads Leigh and Justin have warned other parents to be aware of the symptoms so they can catch the deadly disease quicker.

Symptoms of meningococcal include a high fever, fatigue, rapid breathing, vomiting, cold hands and feet, and a dark purple rash.

"We would encourage all parents to make themselves aware of the signs and symptoms and know that the rash doesn’t always appear," they wrote on their joined Instagram page.

"Owen didn’t have it and as scary as it as in Owens case, it was very mild and then attacked in ways so quickly that we can’t fathom that we now face grieving his loss.

"Always follow your gut instincts, seek professional help if in doubt and advocate for your children."

The fathers have also launched a GoFundMe page to create more awareness around meningococcal and raise money for a surrogate to give their late son a sibling.

Owen had contracted meningococcal.

Remembering their late son, they wrote: "We loved seeing and helping Owen navigate and see the world through his own beautiful way and we will forever cherish and reflect on the precious memories we will hold close to our hearts with him."

They added: "Growing our family in love and honour of Owen, and our goal again to proceed through a surrogacy journey to have a sibling for Owen would mean the world to us and our family.

"With funds raised, this will help us pay for surrogacy agency fee services, medical bills, unexpected/unplanned pregnancy associated costs, legal advice and paperwork review etc.

"There is no expectation to donate to us, we just wanted to share with you all, that if you do just want to share this post with others and help Owen's story create more awareness around Meningococcal and ROP blindness."

Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe

Topics: Life, Real Life, Health, Australia