The grieving mother of a toddler who died of swine flu has said it is 'vital' that children are vaccinated against the illness.
Three-year-old Lana Ameen died on Boxing Day after spending time on a life support machine. The little girl's parents – who are both medical professionals - initially thought she just had a cold, but her condition worsened and just 48 later, she died.
They released this harrowing image of their daughter on a life support machine fighting for her life - just hours before she died.
Former healthcare worker Mrs Ameen – who is twelve weeks pregnant - said Lana's condition deteriorated so quickly that she and her husband, Zana, 34, a doctor at Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham, were taken completely unawares.
After visiting their GP on Christmas Eve, the couple made the decision to take Lana to hospital after her temperature hit 104f. She was later discharged, but returned by ambulance when she started fitting on Christmas Day. The little girl eventually ended up in Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool, where her distraught parents were told she was brain dead.
She said: 'We had never thought about swine flu, never worried about it – then in less than 24 hours our baby was practically dead. It was terrifying, it all happened so quickly. I want to say to people, to parents, if you can get the vaccine, don't hesitate. The risk of not having it and the price you might pay is just too high.'
Mrs Ameen called for changes to the allocation of vaccine, saying it was important that all children were inoculated:
'We have been so shocked by what has happened and we feel very strongly that everyone, particularly children, should have the vaccine. Even financially, surely it makes sense. The swine flu vaccine is inexpensive and has already been bought.'
In contrast, she added: 'It cost £1,700 just to care for Lana in intensive care for one day.'
Mrs Ameen added she has been refused the flu jab, despite being pregnant, and losing Lana to to the virus.
The family chose to release pictures of Lana on life support in the hope of shaming the government into providing vaccines for children.
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