Search

Bexley grandmother raises £100,000 for chairty after losing granddaughter to meningitis

PUBLISHED: 12:44 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:44 19 March 2018

Maya with her parents, Tony and Louise. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation

Maya with her parents, Tony and Louise. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation

Archant

A Bexley grandmother has reached an incredible fundraising milestone of 100,000 in support of Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF), after her granddaughter died from the disease.

Maya's grandmother Dawn Whiteman. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation Maya's grandmother Dawn Whiteman. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation

One-year-old Maya Ford was taken into Darent Valley Hospital A&E on August 1 2012 with convulsions, a rash, high temperature and fast heart rate, and died the next day.

Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that strike without warning, and rapid diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics are required to provide the best chance of survival.

However, the NHS Trust in charge of Maya admitted failings and have apologised for their inadequate care.

Following her death, Maya’s parents, Louise Whiteman and Tony Ford, from Dartford, and her grandmother Dawn Whiteman, from Crayford, demanded an investigation.

Maya Ford was a year old when she died of meningitis. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation Maya Ford was a year old when she died of meningitis. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation

In September 2015, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust admitted failing to examine Maya adequately and failing to admit her for observation and tests. Since Maya’s death, her grandmother has worked tirelessly to raise funds for MRF, the charity that supported the family after Maya died, and became an Ambassador for MRF.

Dawn said, “Our family were left heartbroken after Maya died.

“She was my world, my life, my everything and she was taken from us in just sixteen hours.

“We need all parents and health professionals to be on high alert to meningitis and septicaemia because there is no time to waste when a child is ill with this disease.

Maya's grandmother Dawn Whiteman. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation Maya's grandmother Dawn Whiteman. Picture: Meningitis Research Foundation

“If just one life can be saved thanks to our fundraising and awareness raising then it helps us live with our loss.”

It’s not unheard of for Dawn to ‘paint the town purple’ during the annual campaign, Meningitis Awareness Week, with Dawn’s employer, Wellingtons Electrical leading the way, and shopkeepers all the way down Northumberland Heath high street decorating their shopfronts purple (MRF’s main brand colour) and raising funds.

She added: “We’re thrilled to have passed the £100,000 mark.

“It means so much to us to be able to remember Maya in this way.

Dawn’s nephew Paul Whiteman contributed £35,000 of the total with funds raised at a successful banger racing day.

Rob Dawson, head of support at MRF said, “We’re extremely grateful to Dawn and her family, and everyone who has donated in memory of Maya.

“It’s impressive what a supportive community can achieve together.

“These funds help us enormously to continue our research, awareness and support programmes to ensure that other families don’t have to go through what Maya’s has as a result of meningitis and septicaemia.”

A remembrance fund was set up for Maya and can be found here: https://www.meningitis.org/remembrance-funds/maya-ford

Check you know the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia at: www.meningitis.org/symptoms.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bexley Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bexley Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bexley Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Bexley news

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Crayford resident Brian Hoadley is preparing for the toughest race of his life as he takes on the London Marathon to raise vital funds for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ceyhun Uzan, from Sidcup, is training for a unique Ghostbusters themed Guinness World Record London Marathon effort.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon follows the usual route from Greenwich Park to the Mall.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Housing charity Peabody is to publish a new photographic book on Thamesmead to celebrate 50 years of the town.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Schoolchildren from Bexleyheath will enjoy free tickets to an ice rink and a castle after winning a reading competition.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire has called for a more “radical” approach to dealing with cancer, just weeks after having a tumour removed from his lung.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Kent beaten by Gloucestershire in season opener

Most read news

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Bexley Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder