Family of meningitis victim Ryan Sweatman fighting for free vaccination to help protect teenagers
- Credit: Submitted - October 2012
A campaigning Coltishall teacher, whose teenage brother died from meningitis, is pushing for high school and university students to receive a free life-saving vaccine against the disease.
Danny Sweatman, 29, an Aylsham High School teacher, and his family have raised £80,000 for the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) after his 19-year-old brother Ryan died in from meningococcal septicaemia in 2012.
The teenager's death happened at Sheffield Hallam University where he was studying. Ryan was a former Broadland High School student and his family have been fighting to make the meningitis B vaccination – which protects people against meningococcal septicaemia – free on the NHS.
Mr Sweatman welcomed the recent news that the jab would be made free for two-month-old babies from this September. The teacher, who has a one-year-old son called Maxwell, said: 'The vaccine will stop numerous families going through what we went through. Ryan's death caused utter devastation. We will never get over it.'
Mr Sweatman added the new free vaccine was 'vitally important' but the family's next mission was to support an MRF campaign to introduce a booster jab for teenagers.
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The 29-year-old and his wife Susanna had to pay £400 for Maxwell to have the vaccination.
As well as Ryan, Mr Sweatman's brother, Joe died aged seven weeks from pneumococcal meningitis in 1991. A free vaccine for that strain of the disease is available.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/remember/3487/ryan-sweatman or call 07763 002103.
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