A grieving mum who lost a baby to sepsis and forced a change in the law of how it is tested has welcomed a new son – named after him.
Melissa Mead, 29, gave birth to Arthur William Mead but says the joyous occasion was tinged with sadness that he will never get to meet his older brother.
The family’s first-born William died in 2014 aged just 12 months when a string of NHS failures led to his case of sepsis not being properly recognised.
A report into his death criticised GPs, out-of-hours services and a 111 call handler who failed to spot the symptoms.
But Melissa launched a successful campaign to bring about changes to legislation in the hope of avoiding future deaths.
And she said her second child would always carry William’s memory and they would always be a family of four.
Little Arthur arrived on Tuesday morning and weighed in at 7lb 11oz – exactly the same as William when he was born.
Melissa, who is still in Treliske Hospital in Truro, Cornwall, said she hopes to get home today (Friday)
She said: “I don’t feel too bad now – but very tired. Everything went smoothly for the birth though.
“I am still in hospital but everything is ok.
“I think it is a huge wave of different emotions.
“We are very happy and very excited to finally have him here.
“But it is of course tinged with sadness as William should be here to meet his little brother.
“As soon as we found out we were having a boy, we wanted to give him William’s middle name.
“I think it is something we wanted to do. When Arthur grows up he will want to love and honour William’s memory and they are both part of the family.
“Arthur is doing well and is lovely.
“We will never get used to the idea of William never coming home.
“But we are just expanding our family. We will always be a family of four and will make sure we always stay that way.”
Melissa, of Penryn, Cornwall, said they delayed announcing Arthur’s arrival to give them some time alone – but she has now been swamped with messages of support.
She added: “Arthur was born on Tuesday morning but we have only just announced it as we wanted some time to ourselves and knew we would be inundated.
“Everyone has been so lovely and we have had so many kind words. We have only had family visitors so far but we have a long queue of people desperate to meet him.”
The news was first announced by Melissa’s partner Paul Mead on facebook.
He wrote: “Melissa, William and I would like to announce the arrival of the new addition to our family.
“Arthur William Mead was born on 27th September at 10.41am weighing 7lbs 11oz (exactly the same as William).
“Melissa has been amazing as usual and Arthur is just perfect.
“We all want to thank everyone in advance for messages as it could take a while before we get round to answering them as we have our hands full! Xxxx”
Melissa launched her high profile campaign after health workers missed a string of chances to save William.
Her fight has resulted in changes to the way that doctors screen for the blood poisoning condition.
The good news about Melissa giving birth also comes just weeks after a video she made went viral.
In it the grieving mum held up a series of cards telling her story – along with facts about sepsis.
It has now been viewed more than fifteen million times.