Fundraising march in honour of Edward
Friends of a schoolboy who died from suspected meningitis have joined a charity march in his honour.
Clifton Primary School pupil Edward Dee, 10, died last weekend when it is believed he came down with the infection.
Now dozens of people, including families and charity supporters, have taken part in a fund-raising walk to try to raise awareness of the illness.
Ten-year-old Hayley Turner, who lives in Lytham, said: “I knew Edward from school, I was in his class and we were really good friends.
“I want to raise money for meningitis, it’s just really horrible, and to try to stop it happening to someone else.”
Jacob Gray, 25, from Poulton-le-Fylde, had both legs amputated after contracting meningitis in 2013 and now works to raise funds for charity Meningitis Now.
Jacob joined the walk in support of Edward’s family, and said: “It helps to show local support.” He said the charity would offer to support his family when they were ready, and said: “Other people want to do something in the meantime.
“There is support in the community, and it’s important to show community strength.” He said: “The message is, this is preventable.”
Zoe Brigden, 43, set up an online fundraiser, which has so far raised almost £2,300, and organised the two-mile walk where leaflets were handed out with information on how to recognise the symptoms.
Her son, Oliver, had been in the same class as Edward and she said: “I felt compelled to do something and we just brainstormed and came up with the fundraising idea.
“I think as a community it has affected so many people and we feel the family’s pain.”
Natalie Underhill, 27, who lives in Ansdell, said: “My daughter Ebony was in Edward’s class, she was his friend.
“She’s been understandably upset, but brave.
“We wanted to come in honour of Edward and to raise awareness.
“It’s nice to see a big turnout and the community standing together.”
Matt Wellock, 35, had worked for Edward’s auntie and travelled from Manchester to show his support at yesterday’s event.
He said: “When we heard what had happened we were devastated and wanted to come and show our support.
“It’s about showing support and raising awareness.”
Hilary Holton, 67, who lives in Garstang, said her grandsons had been good friends with Edward and said she joined the walk to show her support.
She said: “They are very upset by it, and I am representing the family.
“It is important to raise awareness.”
Early symptoms of meningococcal infection, which can cause meningitis or septicaemia, and may not always be present, include:
A rash that doesn’t fade when pressed with a glass
Sudden onset of high fever
Severe and worsening headache
Joint and muscle pain
Dislike of bright lights
Very cold hands and feet
Drowsiness that can deteriorate into a coma