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Mum of teenage girl who died after using tampons begs people to learn danger signs of life threatening infection

Health & Science

The mum of a teenager who died from sepsis while on her period is begging people to learn the danger signs of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Jemma-Louise Roberts, 13, began feeling unwell with sickness and diarrhoea while on a family holiday - and was wrongly diagnosed with winter vomiting bug Norovirus.

Her family were told to keep her away from hospitals - but she was rushed to Wigan Infirmary after suddenly deteriorating, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Doctors at the hospital told her family they believed she had Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, caused by a bacteria linked to using tampons.

Jemma-Louise, a member of Hindley Swimming Club and competitive breaststroke swimmer, had begun using tampons as a more convenient way to keep training while on her period.

She died a week later after being transferred first to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and then Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Jemma-Louise's mum Diane Roberts, 45, is now speaking out to warn others of TSS danger signs as part of World Sepsis Week.

Early symptoms are a high fever followed by flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

A rash across the body can then appear and TSS can cause fatal organ failure if left untreated.

Diane said: “TSS used to be talked about in the eighties but you never hear it now.”

Diane Roberts Jemma-Louise Roberts, 13

“If it can save just one more person it will be worth it.”

"My husband had never heard of TSS - if one dad reads this and his daughter falls ill, it could save her life."

Blood tests on Jemma-Louise showed the presence of the staphylococcus bacteria, linked to both TSS and sepsis, before she died.

A post-mortem was not carried out following her death on March 1 last year but Diane believes TSS caused her daughter’s illness as she had been using tampons when she fell ill.

She died from a bleed to the brain while on a heart and lung bypass machine at Alder Hey.

Friends and family, including dad Tony Roberts, 43, and brother Joseph, 13, have now raised over £33,000 for Alder Hey in memory of the Standish Community High School pupil.

As well as being a keen swimmer, Jemma-Louise played the flute and was a member of the Wigan Youth Concert Band and the Wigan Flute Choir.

Diane said: "Her passion was teaching swimming to younger children.

"She always had a smile on her face and loved helping others."

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