Courtney Parker

A Suffolk mother who lost her six-week-old son to a deadly infection contracted during childbirth is trying to save other families from suffering the same fate.

Courtney Parker had never heard of Group B streptococcus (GBS) when she gave birth to her first born Blayze in September 2015. The normally harmless bacteria is found in around a fifth of all women, but can cause life-threatening complications if transferred to an infant during labour. Miss Parker, a child-minder from Halesworth, says she had no warning of the risks during her pregnancy and only found out about its dangers when her baby was being rushed to intensive care.

Courtney Parker

She said her pregnancy had been “absolutely fine” and Blayze was born “perfectly healthy”. But four weeks on, she said he started showing signs of distress. Despite “numerous visits” to the doctor, Miss Parker claims she was told not to worry.

After his condition worsened, however, he was rushed for treatment and then on to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. She said he was put into an induced coma on life support, but tragically died 9 days later.

Miss Parker said she was left devastated.

“My whole world fell apart,” she added.

Having not been made aware of GBS, which is easy to test for and can be treated with ordinary antibiotics, she said she was “incredibly angry with everyone”.

Desperate to help prevent other women suffering the same misery, Miss Parker set up the charity The Blayze’ing Star in 2016 to raise awareness and provide testing kits to pregnant women.

Already, she has given out more than 300 kits and held various fundraisers across the region.

“If I can save one baby going through what Blayze did then I’ll be happy,” she added.

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