It all started when Pugh noticed her daughter wasn’t eating properly and in turn was losing weight. She reported her concerns to a visiting midwife, who confirmed “that’s far too much [weight] loss for a newborn,” sending them “straight to hospital.”
As it turns out, test results indicated that Eloise had contracted the herpes simplex virus sometime after birth. Although doctors conveyed to the distressed parents that their baby may not make it, medical staff weren’t giving up without a fight, and baby Eloise was airlifted to Brisbane, Australia for the best possible care.
The baby was put on a machine to help her heart and lungs. Complications arose, and Eloise contracted a staph infection. At just 24 days old the infant died in her mother’s arms.
What’s even more shocking is that doctors later told the grieving parents that it had all likely been the result of a simple kiss, given to the baby by a visitor with a cold sore. “We were pretty… I was pretty shocked that a cold sore had done this,” Pugh relayed.
The virus, when infecting a newborn baby, can spread directly to the brain, and when it does, it can have fatal effects.
Pugh has since began speaking out in an effort to ensure this doesn’t happen to another family, saying, “I possibly couldn’t let another family go through the heartache that we went through.”
Obstetrician Dr Gino Pecoraro said, “This is one of those many occasions where prevention really is the only cure.”
So what’s Pugh’s advice? If anyone visiting a baby has a cold sore, cover it with a Band-Aid before handling the child. She went on to add, “Be really careful and just make sure people don’t kiss them or touch them, and yeah just make sure you wash your hands continuously.”