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Monday, March 4, 2013

KILLED BY A KISS


Killed by a kiss: Two-month-old baby boy dies after his father infects him with the cold sore virus

  • Kaiden McCormick died of multiple organ failure after catching herpes virus
  • Father Carl Maclaren's heart 'broke in two' when told what killed his son
  • Mother Marrie-Claire McCormick: 'He is distraught. But I never blamed Carl'
  • Couple urging government to raise awareness of the dangers of cold sores
  • Marrie-Claire, who is pregnant again, said: 'No baby should die from a kiss'

A premature baby died from multiple organ failure after being kissed by his doting father, his heartbroken mother has revealed.
Kaiden McCormick's tiny body shut down after catching a cold sore virus from Carl Maclaren.
He spent six weeks on a life-support machine, but doctors were unable to save him and he died aged just two months.
Kiss of death: Baby Kaiden McCormick died after contracting a cold virus which he caught when he was given a loving kiss by his father Carl Maclaren (right), his mother Marrie-Claire McCormick (left) has revealed
Kiss of death: Baby Kaiden McCormick died after contracting a cold virus which he caught when he was given a loving kiss by his father Carl Maclaren (right), his mother Marrie-Claire McCormick (left) has revealed
'His heart broke in two': Carl and Marrie-Claire were devastated to find out that their baby had been struck down by a virus from his father's kiss
'His heart broke in two': Carl and Marrie-Claire were devastated to find out that their baby had been struck down by a virus from his father's kiss
His parents were shocked to discover their baby had been struck down with the herpes simplex virus, a disease carried by most of the population, but usually lies dormant.
Mother Marrie-Claire McCormick, 28, said: 'I asked how it was possible for a baby to have herpes?
'When he said it was transmitted via the cold sore virus I looked at Carl and he instinctively touched his lip. In that moment I saw his heart break in two.
'Carl just broke down. He was totally distraught and kept saying he blamed himself. 
'But I never once blamed Carl. All he had ever done was shower our baby with love and affection. He had been the perfect father. I hated seeing him punish himself.'
'Distraught': Carl feels that if he had never gone near his son 'he'd still be here today'
'Distraught': Carl feels that if he had never gone near his son 'he'd still be here today'
Vulnerable: Kaiden was born five weeks premature on March 28
Vulnerable: Kaiden was born five weeks premature on March 28
Carl, 34, a painter and decorator from Bootle, Merseyside, said: 'I blame myself but I had no idea. 
'Obviously if I had I wouldn't have gone near him and he'd still be here today.'
Marrie-Claire was thrilled to discover she was expecting a son in August 2011.
Kaiden was born five weeks prematurely on March 28 last year.
Marrie-Claire said: ‘We were smitten with him. He looked the image of his daddy with a shock of dark hair and blue eyes. 
'It was our dream come true to be home together as a family.’
They doted on Kaiden and each night after his bath would spend time kissing and cuddling him before laying him down to sleep in his moses basket next to their bed where Marrie-Claire would sing him off to sleep.
Heartbreaking: Kaiden spent six weeks on a life-support machine, but doctors were unable to save him
Heartbreaking: Kaiden spent six weeks on a life-support machine, but doctors were unable to save him
Claire McCormick with Kaiden
Marrie-Claire who is now expecting again
Campaigning: Marrie-Claire, pictured (left) with Kaiden in hospital and is expecting again (right), is calling on the government to raise more awareness of the dangers of cold sores for babies

COLD SORE VIRUS MOST LETHAL IN FIRST SIX WEEKS OF LIFE

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is carried by most people, but usually lies dormant.
It can be caught through physical contact, such as kissing or even breastfeeding. 
While most adults carry the virus without any health risks, it can be fatal for babies because of their poor immunity.
Those in the first six weeks of life are most at risk.
While the virus can be notoriously hard to detect, early signs include a baby not feeding, drowsiness, fever, floppiness and unusual crying. 
The Royal College of Midwives recommends that anyone with a cold sore or symptoms of an impending outbreak should avoid kissing a baby as HSV is most virulent when the skin is broken.
But when he just over two weeks old, he sent his parents into blind panic when he suddenly turned blue after refusing to take his bottle.
Marrie-Claire said: 'I wasn’t too worried at first, but when I tried again later he grizzled and moaned so I kept a close eye on him.’
She’d just noticed a slight temperature when suddenly Kaiden turned blue and stopped breathing.
'Pure panic hit, I just  screamed at Carl to call an ambulance,’ she says.
Paramedics arrived within minutes and rushed the family to Alder Hay Hospital in Liverpool where Kaiden was taken straight into resuscitation.
Marrie-Claire said: 'There were doctors everywhere all frantically working on him. I kept asking them what was wrong, what had happened to my baby? But nobody knew.
'When they took me to see him he was on a ventilator covered in tubes and wires and I just broke down.
'He looked so tiny. I couldn’t believe this had happened so quickly, he’d been fine the night before. I kept thinking it was an awful nightmare and that I’d wake up.’ 
The parents kept vigil at his bedside but just 48 hours later consultants warned he was unlikely to survive and urged them to consider switching of the ventilator.
'A consultant told us his brain was that swollen he was unlikely to pull through. I went into shock. It didn’t make sense that I’d given birth to a perfect baby and now I was being told to let him go before I even knew what was wrong with him.’
Desperate: Carl pleaded with doctors to do everything they could, but after six weeks on life-support Kaiden started to suffer seizures and his parents were gently asked to consider switching the machine off
Desperate: Carl pleaded with doctors to do everything they could, but after six weeks on life-support Kaiden started to suffer seizures and his parents were gently asked to consider switching the machine off
Carl said: ' I pleaded with them to do something else, he was only two weeks old. We couldn’t give up.’ 
After six weeks in hospital Kaiden still couldn't breathe for himself and when he started suffering seizures Marrie-Claire and Carl were gently asked to consider having the machine switched off.
She said: ‘ We were told there was no hope and as a mother you want to protect your baby from suffering so we made the hardest decision of our lives. 
'We gave permission for the permission to be switched off so he could go to sleep. He was handed to me and I cuddled him and held him as he slipped away. 
'I kissed him and told him how much I loved him and how good it felt to hold him in my arms again as he fell asleep for the last time.’
Kaiden was just eight weeks old when he slipped away on May 24th last year. 
The hospital was obliged to inform the police the illness was unexplained. But no charges were brought after the death was confirmed as a tragic accident.
They wrote to the health secretary calling for more information to be given to expectant mums and started an e petition for hospitals to include facts about the virus on leaflets given to new parents.
Now Marrie-Claire is eight months pregnant and due to give birth to a baby girl next month. 
She said: 'She is our reason to live again. But I will never get over losing my son Kaiden. 
'He would have been a fantastic big brother if he hadn’t been taken by a kiss. No baby should ever die because of a kiss.'
To sign the e petition visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38809



TIPS FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE


7 tips for a happy marriage

By Joanna Bounds |
7 tips for a happy marriage
Even though we all hope our marriage will last forever, a third of marriages end in divorce, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. “Tough spots will always occur - one partner might get sick, get the sack, or need to attend to a dying parent,” says psychologist Meredith Fuller, explaining that every union will go through happy and hard times. A long-lasting marriage needs commitment, good communication and a good dose of love and affection. Try these seven tips for a happy marriage:

Create your own rituals

It could be as simple as making your husband a coffee in the morning while he lets you lie in at the weekend. Whatever you choose, a ‘couples’ ritual is a way to connect with your partner in the madness of a busy life. “The comfort of little rituals are trust giving, safety maintaining, and love enhancing – these things help us get through the day in the outside world,” says Meredith. “If your partner says they love you and demonstrates that with consistent gestures, you can believe it.”

Learn to communicate

If you or your hubby is a poor communicator, don’t just put up with it, says Meredith - being able to talk openly with your partner is a sign of a strong marriage. “Develop your skills – go to classes, read books, observe good communicators and interview them about technique, ask for feedback, practice,” she advises. “Communication skills enhance all areas of your life – home and work. Get cracking – no excuses.”

Money matters

We usually handle money in the same way as our family did, and often assume our way is best. Not so, says Meredith, who advises discussing your views on paying bills, saving and credit cards before you tie the knot. “You need to come up with the new blended way you both will do things. It’s easy to have a major joint account where you both must tell each other what you do, and a slush fund minor private account each where you can be yourself without having to justify what you spend.”

Respect and affection are deal breakers

Small gestures matter - if you want your marriage to last, keep reminding each other that you love each other and nurture your relationship with kind words. “You need to treat each other preciously – not for granted,” says Meredith. “Some people say ‘I love you’, and some people will show ‘I love you’ – make sure that your partner understands your message, and work out what you both need then try to accommodate each other.”

Adultery and jealousy are different things

No matter how hard a marriage may seem at times, and while having affair might be exciting, almost everyone involved - children included – are destined to be harmed. “Either you are in or out – never humiliate your partner by duplicity,” says Meredith. “On the other hand, if your partner is jealous, and there is no reason for this, nip it in the bud. It is not cute or sweet, it is inappropriate, and can lead to violence. Get help. See a counsellor, and explore the past and work on this.”

Make room for sex

If you and your hubby’s libidos are matched evenly, don’t worry if sex takes a back seat on having kids. If one wants more nookie than the other, however, Meredith advises making room for sex in a busy schedule. “That might mean getting enough rest and sleep the night before, cancelling any other commitments, getting the kids minded, turning off your phones and computers, and doing nice things to each other,” she says. “Think about what the other person wants, not just what you feel like giving. So, ask them, take it in turns and take your time.” She adds that it’s perfectly normal for sex to fall of the menu when kids come into the mix. “Sometimes you just have to hang in there because one of you is dog tired. It wont be dreadful forever - but if the drought goes on for too long, seek some assistance.”

Put your marriage first

Meredith adds that having a happy marriage means being prepared to take turns with life’s stages. “You can still work towards your goals, but maybe they will take longer to achieve, because right now you choose to help your husband study for a post grad course, or delay moving interstate so he can care for his elderly father.” And, for those bored with their partner, she says slow and steady beats the highs and lows of an anxious passion anytime. “There are two aspects that glue lovers together in the long term: like and respect.”