A grieving mother has spoken out and issued a warning after her daughter died suddenly just hours after falling ill.
19-year-old Emma-Kate McGrath was a cheerful, fit, and healthy teenager who just started her university studies in nursing when she suddenly fell ill with a fever one night.
After the girl woke up from her sleep, she also began vomiting, and her condition continued to worsen until she was rushed to the hospital in the morning.
After spending several hours in the ICU, the teen was put in an induced coma to help her fight her illness. Unfortunately, her condition was already too severe and her internal organs began shutting down.
Just 15 hours after Emma experienced first symptoms, she succumbed to her condition.
Doctors have since confirmed that the girl died from Meningococcal disease, a contagious illness caused by the Neisseria meningitidis bacterium.
If not treated with antibiotics early on, the bacterial infection poses extreme risks. Even with the right treatment, about one in ten people still die from the infection.
Following the shocking and rapid turn of developments, Emma’s heartbroken parents called for the vaccines for Meningococcal to become more accessible.
“At no stage were we aware or even thought we were saying goodbye to our daughter,” the mother told 7news.com.au.
“We kissed her, told her we loved her so much. I said, ‘I’ll see you in a few days and I’m not going to leave your side.’ From the time Emma got sick to the time that we lost her, it was only 15 hours.”
Since her passing, hundreds of mourners and well-wishers paid tribute to the young girl who left the world prematurely and remembered her as a “wonderful role model” and a young woman who “Strived to be the best.”
“She was full of life and her enthusiasm at times seemed to just bubble over and fill the room,” one of her teachers said.
“Her loss is deeply felt by the Loreto College Community. We pray for God’s loving blessing on Emma-Kate and her family, their extended family and friends.”
“Emma-Kate was a wonderful role-model for her peers through her active engagement in all aspects of school life. She was a most vibrant, compassionate and genuine young woman who strived to be the best she could in all areas of her life,” her university added in a statement.
Our thoughts are with Emma’s loved ones.