In 2016, Jasmine Shortland’s 3-year-old son, Bryan-Andrew, got chicken pox.
But aside from a bit of a sore neck and some swelling, the little boy was fine.
The 23-year-old mom dropped Bryan-Andrew and his brother Austin, at their grandmother’s house one day. She didn’t want her younger baby at home, Ivan, to get infected.
Austin had previously had chickenpox without any complications, so Jasmine assumed that it would be the same for Bryan-Andrew.
But she would be tragically wrong. This time, everything spiralled into a nightmare. Now, the mother wants to warn all the parents out there, in order to help try to prevent this from ever happening again.
Jasmine and her 21 year old partner Josh had everything they could wish for. Three beautiful children and a whole life ahead of them.
But in 2016 tragedy struck and they went through what no parent ever should.
In August two years ago, son Bryan-Andrew got chicken pox. Nothing particularly serious, as we know.
Jasmine decided to drop Bryan Andrew and elder son Austin off, who had already gotten the virus, at their grandma’s one night, in order not to risk her youngest son Ivan getting sick, too.
The following morning, Jasmine’s mother discovered that Bryan-Andrew would not wake up. No matter how hard she tried, the grandma could not wake the little boy up.
Paramedics rushed to the scene, but it was too late. Bryan-Andrew was pronounced dead.
To say that Jasmine was shocked would be an understatement.
“The night before he was running around. He was happy. He was laughing and joking. It just doesn’t make sense,” Jasmine told Daily Mail.
The mother clearly remembers the last words her son told her, “I love you”.
The loss was both unimaginable and irreconcilable. The family could not understand how their boy could suddenly pass away without any serious symptoms.
Then, several weeks later, doctors made a horrible and unexpected discovery.
It turned out that Bryan-Andrew had contracted a rare and aggressive form of streptococcus A septicaemia, also known as A strep.
This type of infection can cause blood poisoning (sepsis), at which point an individual can become severely ill.
How had Bryan Andrew contracted the infection? By scratching his chicken pox, it turns out.
“There were no symptoms because it was so rare he just had normal symptoms for mumps. He had no rash, nothing that you would normally have,” Jasmine told Daily Mail.
“His body was so small he couldn’t fight it and it turned into sepsis. It is just weird that there were no symptoms.’
Jasmine’s only comfort was that her son passed away in his sleep and did not feel suffer.
But the nightmare was not over yet.
After losing Bryan-Andrew, the mourning mother discovered that she was ten weeks pregnant. But she suffered a miscarriage because of the great stress she was under.
“I didn’t find out until I had stomach ache. It was absolutely awful. I nearly lost my life,” she said. “I lost 75% of my body’s blood. The nurses said there was someone watching over me that day and I knew it was Bryan-Andrew.”
Jasmine now wants to help raise awareness of this unknown danger of chickenpox and encouraging parents to be extra vigilant.
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