Hundreds to walk from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton for meningitis charities

A determined couple will be joined by hundreds of people when they take part in a charity walk on Sunday, May 22, to raise money in memory of their son who died from meningitis.

Jacob Davey died aged just three on March 3 last year when he was struck down by the disease which rapidly took hold and led to the meningococcal septicaemia that took his life.

His parents Ben Davey and Gemma Norris immediately launched themselves into raising money for charities researching the condition and are gearing up for their second charity walk to help boost funds.

The walk will start at 9am close to the King's Lynn Nursery, in the Walks, where Jacob had attended as normal on the day he fell ill.

Miss Norris said on that day she took him to the doctors and told he had a virus and to take Calpol every four hours but the following morning she found a rash all over his body.

'Jacob started gasping for breath and he wouldn't respond,' she said.

He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn where he later died as a result of the meningococcal bacteria which overwhelmed him as a result of meningitis B – the most common strain of the disease.

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The couple, who have another son Stephen, three, organised a sponsored walk from King's Lynn to The Green, in Hunstanton last year and raised �9,000 and hope to raise a similar amount this year.

Miss Norris said everyone is invited to take part in the 20-mile walk to raise money for the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK.

Mr Davey said: 'We expect to arrive in Hunstanton at 3pm at the very latest and at the moment we have around 200 walkers joining us.'

Miss Norris added they hope the event will raise awareness of the disease so parents know what symptoms to watch for and to trust their instincts and take a child to hospital if they suspected something was wrong.

'Often the symptoms are so similar to common illnesses it can be impossible to spot. That is why I feel that a vaccine is the only way to save people's lives,' she said.

The charity walk will be held on the day after Jacob's birthday and everyone is being asked to wear fancy dress. Mr Davey will wear a bear suit and Miss Norris will dress up as clown on the day.

The walk comes after the couple were touched by the kindness of the nursery school Jacob had attended.

'They put flowers on his grave and gave us a lovely photo of him. They also gave us a plaque to put on his headstone, it was really nice of them,' Miss Norris said.

The Meningitis Trust was launched in 1986 and works to ensure that everyone whose life has been affected by meningitis gets access to the support that they need for as long as they need it.

Meningitis UK was started in 1999 with the sole of funding life-saving research to eradicate all forms of meningitis, which can kill in less than four hours and is most prevalent in children and young people. The charity has invested �2m into meningitis research across the UK.

Anyone who would like to take part should e-mail Mr Davey at bdavey02@btinternet.com.

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