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Tragic loss sparks a 'mission'

Skye Bannah, pictured with her son Alex, lost her son Joshua to Pneumococcal Septicemia.
Skye Bannah, pictured with her son Alex, lost her son Joshua to Pneumococcal Septicemia. Inga Williams

JOSHUA Bannah gave great cuddles.

It has been four weeks since his family had a special cuddle from their Joshy, after the young baby was suddenly struck down by a disease called Pneumococcal Septicemia.

Within 24 hours of his symptoms appearing the happy baby was dead.

His Redbank Plains family are now on a mission to get Joshy's story out there, and prevent another tragedy from happening.

On June 11, his mum Skye noticed Joshy wasn't well. He had become sleepy and seemed to be suffering what she thought were cold symptoms.

A harrowing 24 hours were about to begin.

By 10pm Skye had taken Joshy to Ipswich Hospital where he was assessed as a category two patient.

"When we got there a triage nurse looked at him and said he was a category two, and they started the tests," she said.

"Even being there I didn't realise how sick he was."

Skye said a doctor told her her son was critical.

At 4am the next morning Joshy was transferred to the Mater Hospital after a rash broke out over his body. Doctors realised he was suffering from Pneumococcal Septicemia.

Skye and her husband Michael followed behind the ambulance, fearing for their young child's life.

Five minutes after the ambulance left the hospital tiny Joshy's heart stopped, and medical staff performed CPR and administered adrenaline to keep him alive.

When his parents arrived at the hospital a doctor told them Joshy was going to die, but in a final effort to save his life they wanted permission to hook him up to a machine that would pump his blood through his body for him.

Skye said without the machine he was given a 0% chance of survival, but with the machine his chances rose to 30%.

The machine didn't work, and by 11am the baby boy had passed away.

"Joshy was the first person I've had die on me. Michael was just broken, so I had to make the decision to turn off the machine," Skye said.

And while Joshy shouldn't have been taken so young, Skye is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

"He didn't get the chance to have a voice, so now I'm his voice," she said. "Even if he can save just one child, that's enough."

Skye is now on a mission to stop other parents from going through what her family has had to endure.

She is starting the Joshua's Fight For Life Foundation, which aims to raise awareness about the disease which claimed her baby's life.

"People think once their child is immunised they are okay," she said. "But they can still get these horrific diseases.

"We also hope to donate money to the Mater Hospital."

Skye said she would like to thank the staff at the Mater Hospital and Ipswich Hospital, who were "fantastic".

Skye has set up a Facebook page in honour of Joshy. To visit it go to facebook.com/joshuasfightforlife.

Topics:  ipswich hospital, joshua bannah, pneumococcal septicemia


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