Parents plea with mums and dads to PLEASE know the signs of meningococcal as the high risk season looms.

Posting on the Facebook page, Robbie’s Roar, the desperate parents shared a touching photo alongside their very urgent message.

“This is a photo that we have never shared before but given that it is winter which is one of the high risk times to contract Meningococcal, I wanted to talk about it.

It is one of a group of photos taken in preparation for Robbie’s arms and legs to be amputated.

How do you even prepare for a surgery like that? How do you mentally prepare yourself as a parent to the idea you will never hold your child’s hands or kiss their little toes again?

I remember this day like it was yesterday. I remember deliberately placing Robbie in a superman singlet because he’s the strongest person I know. I remember trying to be strong. I remember the photographer hugging me tighter than anyone has before, after she took our photos. I remember her holding back tears and I remember awkwardly laughing to try and play it off like everything was going to be fine all the while knowing I was terrified. Absolutely terrified.

We had waited a year and a week for this day and it still wasn’t enough time to prepare me for what was to come.

The day came, Iain and I focussed on the future. While Robbie was in surgery, we decided to spend our time waiting looking at houses, for a home we would move into when Robbie was well enough. One with a backyard so he could play, laugh, do as he pleased, and see the sky. Be outside! Something he wouldn’t be able to do properly for 18 months.

That’s the reality of Meningococcal.

It’s a mother and father screaming and crying when they get a moment to themselves just to let out the heartache of their child suffering.

It’s a mother and father holding it together in front of their baby so he keeps fighting because if he doesn’t, he loses his life.

It’s a mother and father being scared to kiss their sick baby because what if we pass germs onto him when he’s already fighting for his life and that’s all it takes for him to lose his fight?

It’s a mother being scared to go to sleep until her sons blood pressure is at an “ok” level, it’s surgery after surgery, suffering after suffering, heartache after heartache and challenge after challenge and guess what?

We’re the lucky ones. I thank God for all the challenges because the alternative is one I never wish to think about.

I ask you all to please share this so another parent can learn.

Learn something we wish we had before Robbie got sick, that there are Meningococcal vaccines that exist that are not part of the schedule, get vaccinated and also learn the signs and symptoms of Meningococcal.

Stiff neck
Sensitivity to light
Fitting/stiff jerking movements
Pain Pale,grey or blotchy skin
Rash – this can start off as a small spot then develop into purple bruising.

VACCINATE and if you believe that you or someone you love has contracted Meningococcal, seek medical advice immediately. Every minute counts.”

The post has attracted over 870 shares and 860+ reactions.

NSW Health Director, Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, previously said late winter/early spring was the season when meningococcal disease tended to be most prevalent, although cases presented all year round.

Read more: How to keep your family safe from meningococcal disease

Share your comments below

  • My heart breaks for this family! It’s so scary having a small baby because she can’t tell me how she is feeling.


  • I’m so heartbroken that Robbie has to go through this trauma. This vaccine should be as readily available as chickenpox, polio, etc. I wish the family all the best.


  • Such a terrible disease. My heart goes out to this lovely family.


  • Woah woah this is news to me, I did not know there was a vaccination for this. This would have to be the scariest disease.. poor little guy.


  • Poor Bub. Hope she’s doing much better


  • This is such a horrible disease and it can happen at any age – quite indiscriminate in who it chooses as a victim.


  • Aw bless this must be such a hard journey ! My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.


  • Poor thing. I hope the family are doing well


  • How very awful this family has gone through this. Meningococcal is somethinh every parent lives in fear of.


  • All my love and prayers go to this family.


  • Oh sweetie. My daughter is in Year 10 and she was vaccinated not long ago. Luckily.


  • My teenager will be vaccinated for this. It is such a frightening disease.


  • My grandson has been vaccinated but I worry it’s not enough. Aren’t there a couple of different strains of this? And our kids aren’t routinely vaccinated against all of them, you have to pay for he ones that aren’t routine


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