Heartbroken family's warning after little boy dies from Strep A after suddenly collapsing
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The family of a three-year-old boy have issued a warning to other parents after he suddenly passed away from Strep A.
Theo Emm died on 18 February at his home in Westbury, Wiltshire, just days after parents Billy and Jody welcomed Theo's baby brother, Oliver, into the world.
The young boy had barely shown any signs of illness, with the only possible warning sign starting the night before his passing, when his parents noted he was a 'bit lethargic'.
The following morning, his parents carried him downstairs so he could watch cartoons and decided to call 111 for advice about their son.
Billy and Jody are still too devastated to comment on the ordeal, but Billy's brother, Chris, described how Theo 'just collapsed with cardiac arrest' while his parents were on the phone.
"I’ve spoken to my brother and Jody and they said they didn’t feel they were able to talk about this as it’s still too raw for them," Chris, who works as a nurse in the accident and emergency department at Salisbury District Hospital, said.
“Usually they would be okay about talking, but they just didn’t feel they could."
A Wiltshire Air Ambulance emergency response team arrived at the family’s home just minutes after receiving the call, but paramedics were sadly unable to revive Theo with CPR.
It was determined that he had died of Strep A, and Billy and Jody are now looking into having counselling sessions to help cope with their grief.
While they don't want people to think they are speaking out for 'pity', Chris said they wanted to tell Theo's story to 'raise awareness'.
"This kind of condition in children is often called a ‘silent killer’ and it is very rare for children to die from it," he said.
“In Theo’s case, there were no symptoms. He just collapsed on the Saturday morning and died.”
Billy and Jody are now urging other parents to take action if they suspect their own child could be at risk of Strep A, which usually includes flu-like symptoms including a high temperature, swollen glands and an aching body.
The illness can also sometimes be accompanied by a rough rash, and if spotted it can be treated with antibiotics which help resolve symptoms within one to three days.
However, it is possible that strep A can occasionally turn into a more serious and potentially deadly illness.