14/08/2014 12:47 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Meningitis Kills Dad Before He Can See Unborn Son

Meningitis kills dad before he can see unborn son

A devastated mum-to-be has told how her partner will never meet his unborn son, after he died from a rare form of meningitis that doctors dismissed as 'swollen joints'.

Marciano Nolan, 46, contracted the disease last month, fully aware that he was to become a dad again. Tragically, his condition rapidly deteriorated and he died four days after he first felt ill.

He leaves behind three children and his partner of 14 years, Clare Streeter, who is 22 weeks pregnant with the couple's fourth child.

She said: "The 20-week scan a couple of weeks ago broke my heart. I could see the baby's face on the scan and it looked exactly like Marciano.

"It was like seeing a ghost. He should have been there and I am heartbroken he will never meet his little boy."

On January 2, Marciano complained of severe headaches, dehydration and aversion to light as his condition worsened.

The next day, his joints had become swollen and painful, so much so that he was unable to get dressed or brush his teeth.

Clare, 29, sent him to Glan Clwyd's A&E department in Rhyl, North Wales.

She said: "My friend took him to the accident and emergency department who sent him away, as they said he wasn't an emergency. Instead, he was sent to an out of hours doctor.

"The doctor agreed he had swollen joints and sent him home with very strong painkillers. He went to bed when he got home and about an hour later, I went up to see if he wanted any food or drink.

"He said he had a headache and had didn't want the light on."

By mid afternoon, Marciano began vomiting for a number of hours. He went into hospital but sadly died in the early hours of Sunday, January 6th.

"They told me he had died from meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia and brain stem cell damage," Clare said.

"The whole family is devastated. I just can't believe I'll never see him again and that the children will never see their daddy again."

Clare has now launched a campaign to raise awareness of the disease, which affects only a handful of people aged between 40 and 50 each year in England and Wales. It most commonly affects young children and teenagers.

Meningitis, which is inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, is often detectable by a blotchy rash but Clare is keen for the disease's other symptoms to also be recognised.

"I was sat with him and I noticed the rash on his arm," said Clare. "It was in between the tattoo on his arm, we never would have noticed it."

Clare has now launched the Maz's Meningitis Campaign Nolan page on Facebook.

She said: "Never go by the rash, I want people to be aware it has other symptoms.

"I want people to know how serious this infection is and how quickly it can kill."

Meningitis Advice