Sad parents release pic of son dying from meningitis to encourage families to get kids vaccinated

Sad parents release pic of son dying from meningitis to encourage families to get kids vaccinated

In the last moments of his life, and just hours after coming down with meningitis, this young boy was cradled in the arms of his loving parents as they said their last good-byes with tears streaming down their faces. How could it be? How could their Son who was just a couple days before, acting anything but sickly, now be, about to take his last breathe? This is their story…


It was released by Claire and Mark Timmins as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the disease and to urge families to get their children vaccinated.

Their son Mason told his mother he felt ill one morning back in 2013.
Less than 24 hours later he had passed away.

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Now Mrs Timmins is urging parents to be vigilant with other symptoms because Mason did not have the red rash most commonly associated with meningitis.

He had even had the viral meningitis vaccination – but contracted the bacterial form of the disease.

Mrs Timmins, 37, said of the photograph: ‘It is quite shocking but that’s what we want as hopefully it will make people sit up and listen.

‘We want to raise as much awareness as possible and keep campaigning for this vaccination.

‘It’s very well for babies to have it but what about all the other children?

‘There has been more and more cases and people need to think not only about the rash but the other symptoms as it can get hold quickly and can result in death.

‘It is important to look for the rash – but there are other signs too.’

A petition calling on the Government to provide the meningitis B vaccine for all children has now become the most signed in Downing Street history.

More than 600,000 people have signed the document on the Parliament website following the death of two-year-old Faye Burdett and her parents’ heartbreaking plea for all children to be vaccinated.

It came as England World Cup rugby hero Matt Dawson revealed last week that his toddler son Sami had beaten meningitis after ‘two weeks of hell’.

The 43-year-old former England and Northampton Saints star shared a series of heartbreaking images of little Sami as he fought the disease from his bed Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

Dawson said he and his wife Carolin Hauskeller had been debating whether or not to post the pictures, which they warned could be ‘upsetting’.

Meanwhile, Mrs Timmins, a teaching assistant from Walsall, in the West Midlands, said of her son’s death: ‘It was very hard to deal with and still is.

‘Mason was just seven-years-old and he was fit and healthy. He was always smiling and always had something to say.

‘One Monday morning I heard him coughing and then he started to be sick – I thought it was just a sickness bug as to be honest I had seen him a lot worse and it was nothing out of the ordinary.

‘But by 3.30pm he started to get a temperature. I gave him some Calpol but it didn’t go down.’

Mrs Timmins then phoned her husband at work and told him something was not right.

The 49-year-old service engineer rushed home and the couple took Mason to the doctors.


Mrs Timmins said: ‘We got in the car and he started saying some strange things and we knew something was definitely wrong with him.

‘We got to the doctors and he got really floppy. The doctor said straight away he thought it was meningitis and gave him some injections.

‘Mason then lost consciousness and he never regained it.’

Mason was then taken to hospital but Mrs Timmins said: ‘We then found out that the meningitis had already attacked his brain and he was brain dead.

‘He felt ill at 6.30am and by midnight he was brain dead.’

Mason’s life support was switched off at 2.30pm the following day.

Mrs Timmins said: ‘I couldn’t believe it was true, I just thought why us?

‘I was angry and frustrated.

‘Everything happened so fast it felt like we were on the outside looking in and it was all a dream.

‘We were just praying for a miracle thinking they were wrong and he was going to just wake up – he looked like he was sleeping.

‘It hit us more on the car journey home.

‘We went in with our son and came out with a box with his hand and footprint in and a leaflet on how to deal with bereavement.’

Mason did not have the red rash most commonly associated with the disease and now Mrs Timmins, who also had meningitis when she was a child, wants to make people aware of the other symptoms so they can be spotted early on.

She is also supporting the petition to change government policy on the Meningitis B vaccine.


Losing a child is a type of pain that has no equal. Losing a child to something that maybe, could have been prevented…only divine comfort could cure.

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