Jasmine Shortland wasn’t too concerned when her 3-year-old son contracted chicken pox in August last year. After all, it was something most kids got.
The 23-year-old mother from Somerset, England, who has three other young children, took Bryan-Andrew to his grandmother’s house so that he wouldn’t infect his youngest sibling, according to the Daily Mail.
She never expected that he would pass away a short time later.Jasmine Shortland/Facebook
Shortland said that her son had been complaining of a “stiff neck,” which she thought might have been a sign of mumps.
But she said he was still “running around” and “happy.” Until the next morning.
When the grandmother went to wake the boy up, he was cold and unresponsive. She immediately contacted paramedics, but they were unable to revive the 3-year-old.
Shortland was left heartbroken and extremely confused. She told The Daily Mail:
“My stepdad came to my house and told me Bryan-Andrew had died. I ran to my mum’s house, I thought ‘this can’t be right’… I spoke to him on the phone the night before he died and he told me he loved me and I said ‘I’ll see you soon and give you cuddles’.”
The young mother and her husband, 21-year-old Josh Wescott, were initially told by doctors that he son died from sudden infant death syndrome. But months of testing revealed what really caused her son’s death.Jasmine Shortland/Facebook
Little Bryan-Andrew contracted Strep A, an infection that often results in more serious conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cause? Scratching at the chicken pox on his neck. Shortland told The Sun:
“He had no rash, nothing that you would normally have. His body was so small he couldn’t fight it and it turned into sepsis.”
The mother of three is now on a mission to warn other moms about the potential dangers that come with chicken pox. She told the Daily Mail:
“I think it is important to know what can happen when you least expect it. I thought chicken pox was normal. Every child has it.”
Shortland now honors her son by releasing balloons on his birthday and the anniversary of his death. She hopes his story will serve as a warning to others.