A grieving mother has opened up on how her daughter Zoe McGinty (pictured) contracted meningococcal and died
A grieving mother has opened up after her 20-year-old daughter unknowingly contracted a deadly disease and died just hours after falling ill.
Kirsten McGinty, 47, said not a day goes by that she doesn’t think of her late daughter, Zoe.
She said Zoe was a healthy and bright third-year media student at university in Brisbane, Queensland.
When she wasn’t at uni she worked at the local bakery and loved keeping fit, going to the gym with her boyfriend.
Ms McGinty said it all started when Zoe felt faint after coming back from a workout last year, Courier Mail reports.
Zoe felt tired and so she took a shower and a nap on September 2, 2017.
Zoe, 20, (pictured) was a healthy and bright third-year media student at university in Brisbane, Queensland
When she wasn’t at uni she loved keeping fit by going to the gym with her boyfriend Simon Taylor (pictured left). ‘Zoe was the love of my life and my greatest friend’ Simon (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia
I knew she was sick but didn’t think it would be fatal.
‘I knew she was sick but didn’t think it would be fatal,’ Zoe’s mum Ms McGinty said (pictured)
After vomiting in the shower Kirsten suspected Zoe had a stomach bug but nothing more.
That evening, Zoe’s sister Bridget ran to her mum saying that Zoe couldn’t feel her legs.
Ms McGinty urgently called the ambulance after she found her daughter with a high temperature and blue lips.
Zoe went into a cardiac arrest and she died in a matter of hours.
‘All my children have had gastro bugs over the years, and Zoe’s were the same symptoms; nothing about her triggered me to go, ”Oh, this could be serious”.
‘I knew she was sick but didn’t think it would be fatal,’ Ms McGinty told the Courier Mail.
Zoe McGinty (pictured) went into cardiac arrest and she died in a matter of hours last September after coming home from the gym
The 20-year-old (pictured) had died from meningococcal, a serious bacterial infection that is fatal in 5-10 per cent of cases
Zoe’s death was a complete shock and it has devastated my world. Zoe was the love of my life and my greatest friend, the only person I could tell absolutely anything to.
An autopsy later revealed the young woman died from meningococcal.
Meningococcal is a serious bacterial infection that is often transmitted from the throat or nose before infecting the rest of the body.
Zoe’s boyfriend, Simon Taylor, 25, told Daily Mail Australia that her death was devastating.
‘Zoe’s death was a complete shock and it has devastated my world. Zoe was the love of my life and my greatest friend, the only person I could tell absolutely anything to.
‘She had an infectious smile, and a huge heart and she made me laugh everyday. I miss our daily gym sessions and the laughs we had in the kitchen making dinner after work,’ Simon said.
‘She had an infectious smile, and a huge heart and she made me laugh everyday. I miss our daily gym sessions and the laughs we had in the kitchen making dinner after work,’ Simon told Daily Mail Australia
What are symptoms of meningococcal?
Symptoms of the disease
- Lack of appetite
- Leg pain
- Unusual skin colour
- Extreme tiredness
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Convulsions, fits or twitching
- Red-purple rash
Source: Department of Health
‘Not a day goes by that I don’t think what a terrible tragedy it is that she was taken by this disease, I miss her every second of every day,’ Simon added.
Zoe’s mum Ms McGinty said she had heard of Meningococcal but never thought of getting her children vaccinated.
Since her daughter’s death, Ms McGinty has been actively lobbying the government to offer free vaccines to the deadly disease to all Australians.
As the new Queensland representative of Meningococcal Australia, Ms McGinty believes that access to vaccinations against each of the four most common strains of the disease is the answer.
‘How many parents have to bury their children, how many families have to be torn apart?’ she said.
Zoe’s boyfriend Simon Taylor told Daily Mail Australia that he fully supports Ms McGinty’s cause in pushing free vaccines for the deadly disease.
‘I have remained in constant contact with Zoe’s family, and I 100 per cent believe in what Kirsten is trying to do. Vaccines should be free for all strains and all ages so no one else has to go through the grief we have all been through.
‘Not only has this disease taken Zoe away from me, it has also robbed Zoe of everything she wanted to accomplish in her life,’ Simon said.
The number of Australians falling ill from Meningococcal W is on the rise with 38.1 being reported in 2017
What are the after-effects of meningococcal?
- Skin scarring
- Limb deformity
- Deafness in one or both ears
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurring and double vision
- Aches and stiffness in the joints
Source: Department of Health
The disease results in death in 5-10 per cent of cases, according to the Department of Health.
There are 13 different strains of Meningococcal yet four are the most common: A, B, C, W and Y.
Zoe contracted the W strain of the deadly disease.
The number of Australians falling ill from Meningococcal W is on the rise with 38.1 being reported in 2017, according to the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance.