Father of two, John, from the Gold Coast has recently been left widowed with two children, one a premature newborn, after his wife became ill at 36 weeks.

Imogen was 36 weeks pregnant when she arrived at hospital on the 14th July with an ear infection. The infection is said to have travelled to her brain and is a suspected case of bacterial meningitis.

Doctors took Imogen into surgery and baby Eleanor was delivered 4 weeks premature. Imogen suffered from ‘catastrophic brain damage’ due to meningococcal complications and passed away shortly after, without meeting her baby daughter.


Meningococcal disease is an acute bacterial infection that can cause death within hours if not recognised and treated in time.

In Australia there are 5 main strains of the disease, all of which now have vaccinations available from your doctor. *Note that the C-strain vaccine available through Australia’s free National Immunisation Program  (for children 12 months of age) does NOT protect against all strains of the disease.

Husband John is left with two children, Eleanor who was born on the 14th July 2017, and JB who is 17 months old.


The family have a GoFundMe page to help raise some money for John to take care of his family.

SHARE your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Image source: GoFundMe

  • What a tragedy.


  • These ear infections have to be taken very seriously thus. :-(


  • Aw what a sad story.
    My father had Meningococcal disease after an ear infection as a child, luckily he survived with only a permanent hearing loss as complication.


  • Oh that is just so so terribly sad for John and his lovley wife. To have carried her baby for so long and not even get to meet or hold the baby is really sad .


  • Unfortunately an ear infection can be present before meningitis shows up. One of my cousins had an ear infection with meningitis. Fortunately he was taken to hospital and made a full recovery. So tragic that Imogen lost her life because of it and never met her new baby daughter who I hope can go home from hospital soon. I hope John is given plenty of ongoing support to care for his children. I very much boubt little JB will remember his Mother either.


  • Oh my poor family! :-( So sad for this young woman. And all for an ear infection??? :-( Can an ear infection really cause meningitis??? :-(


  • Very sad to read,so sorry for your loss of your loved one.


  • absolutely heart breaking, good luck to the family x


  • How devastating for this family. It is such a deadly disease – I wish we could eradicate all strains of it. My deepest condolences.


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