Protect pregnant women and their unborn babies from slapped cheek (parvovirus B19) .

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This is my story, The reason I want to make a change - On the 28th March 2018 we lost our little boy after I contracted slapped cheek (Parvovirus B19). At 16 weeks + 5 days pregnant there was a confirmed case of slapped cheek In the setting I work in. I called the doctors and had a blood test the following day, confirming I was not immune and had contracted slapped cheek. the following Monday at almost 18 weeks my baby (Terence Arthur) had begun to show signs of foetal anaemia which is caused by the virus. Due to already having a large hematoma in my uterus I was re-scanned 2 days later which confirmed my boy was becoming rapidly more ill and confirmed the anaemia was caused by the slapped cheek virus. The doctor informed me my baby would need a blood transfusion whilst in the womb, this was scheduled for 2 days later as he was deteriorating so quickly, his heart was working so hard that if we didn't agree to the transfusion we would lose him anyway. We had to give our baby a fighting chance so we underwent the transfusion on the Friday, we left the hospital with a scan booked for 2 days later on the Monday. It was at that scan we found out our little boy had died. I chose to give birth to my little boy and 2 days later at 19 weeks i was induced and later that day at 6.20pm i pushed my baby into the world, he was beautiful and perfect, we held him and kissed him, the pain and love i felt for my little boy is indescribable.

We left the hospital with empty arms and an empty heart that day. This is why we want to make a change. Nobody should have to go through this, Losing a baby doesnt just affect the mother and father it affects the siblings of that baby and the family and friends who had envisioned a future with that baby. Both me and my 7 year old son are receiving counselling now. I would like awareness to be raised of slapped cheek, it needs to be taken more seriously.

My mission is:

- For schools to be aware of the dangers of slapped cheek and inform not ony their staff members but all who have come into contact with the setting .

- For schools to inform surrounding schools when they have had a confirmed case so that women can be tested for immunity BEFORE it reaches them.

- For health proffesionals to offer a blood test readily to mothers who think they MAY have come into contact with the virus. (i have been informed of cases where women are refused a blood test when their child has been around children with confirmed slapped cheek because their own child doesnt have a rash!).

- For women who are more at risk of the disease (teachers etc) to be offered a blood test at their first midwife appointment.

I work in a childcare setting and have done for over 4 year and at my first midwife appointment i asked what i should be aware of, i was informed about slapped cheek but told not to worry as i was "probably immune anyway" , well my case and many other cases prove that not everybody is immune wether they have worked with children or not.

Although we wont be able to eradicate slapped cheek, we can at least try and come together to raise awareness and get something put in place so fewer people have to go through this! Please sign this petition and help to protect our babies!

I have attached a link to the NHS website with information about parvovirusb19 this includes the symptoms to look out for. Please take a look.

Thank you.

(In honour of my little boy Terence Arthur Carlile , born sleeping at 6.20pm on 28th March 2018 weighing just 6.1oz, we love you so so much and you will forever be in our hearts.)