Heartbroken family’s warning after three-year-old boy died from Strep A: Child had barely any symptoms before suddenly collapsing while watching cartoons
- Theo Emm died at his Westbury home after falling seriously ill to the ‘silent killer’
The heartbroken family of a three-year-old boy who died from Strep A say he had ‘no symptoms’ before suddenly collapsing while watching cartoons one morning.
Theo Emm died at his home in in Westbury, Wilt, after falling seriously ill to the ‘silent killer’ – having shown hardly any signs of illness.
He had been a ‘bit lethargic’ the night before but was feeling better by the time he went to bed.
Tragically, the family had also only just welcomed baby brother, Oliver, days before Theo’s death on February 18.
They are now urging other parents to take action if they suspect their own child could be risk.
Theo Emm, three, pictured with his heartbroken parents Jody and Billy
Theo Emm died at his home in in Westbury, Wilt, after falling seriously ill to the ‘silent killer’
Theo pictured holding his new baby brother Oscar days before he died
Parents Billy and Jody Emm are still too distraught to speak, but Billy’s brother Chris Emm has described the ordeal.
He said: ‘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.
‘Usually they would be okay about talking, but they just didn’t feel they could.
‘They did say to me that they wanted more than anything to raise awareness and not for people to think it is a sob story to take pity on them.
‘This kind of condition in children is often called a ‘silent killer’ and it is very rare for children to die from it.
‘In Theo’s case, there were no symptoms. He just collapsed on the Saturday morning and died.’
Chris, who works as a nurse in the accident and emergency department at Salisbury District Hospital added: ‘When he woke up on Saturday morning he wanted to watch the cartoons on TV so he was carried downstairs.
‘Billy and Jody decided to phone 111 and while they were on the phone Theo just collapsed with a cardiac arrest.’
‘In Theo’s case, there were no symptoms. He just collapsed on the Saturday morning and died’
He had been a ‘bit lethargic’ the night before but was feeling better by the time he went to bed
Pictured is Theo with his parents – who want to raise awareness of Strep A
Theo suddenly collapsed one Saturday morning while watching cartoons
A Wiltshire Air Ambulance emergency response team arrived at the family’s home within minutes of the call.
Paramedics carried out CPR on Theo for about half an hour but they were unable to revive him.
Theo’s death sadly came just a week after his brother Oliver was born and the family now treasure a photograph of the pair with Oliver in his big brother’s arms.
Billy, 29, and Jody, 31, are looking into having counselling sessions to try to come to terms with Theo’s sudden death and wish to raise awareness of how quickly Strep A can become a ‘silent killer’.
Strep A is usually accompanied by flu-like symptoms consisting of a high temperature, swollen glands, an aching body or a sore throat known as ‘strep throat’.
It can sometimes be accompanied by a rash that feels rough, like sandpaper (scarlet fever) scabs and sores (impetigo).
Following antibiotic treatment, symptoms typically resolve within one to three days but strep A can occasionally turn into a more serious and potentially deadly illness.
Chris said: ‘They are still trying to process what has happened but having a new child is helping a lot.’
He added: ‘Strep A has been around for years but unless you routinely swab a child you would never find it.’
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