Katie Joyce's 4 year old son Enzo died last year, now she's urging people to raise money for Meningitis Now at an event in her hometown in October.
A Huddersfield mum who lost her happy, bubbly son to meningitis is backing a charity’s Pumpkin Parade to fight back against the disease.
Katie Joyce of Crosland Fold saw her world turned upside down when her young son Enzo, 4, contracted meningitis in November 2018.
Just hours after he was admitted to hospital she made the heartbreaking decision to turn his life support machine off after scans showed he was brain dead.
The day before, Enzo had attended school as normal.
Now Katie is sharing her story to raise awareness of meningitis and support charity Meningitis Now’s Pumpkin Parade fundraiser in October.
Enzo had felt poorly on 13 November 2018, but was well enough to go to school the next day. The following day he again felt unwell and stayed off school. At around lunchtime Katie called an ambulance because she was concerned about Enzo’s breathing. He was rushed to hospital and members of the family came to join them.
“That’s where I got told something no mother, father, auntie, uncle, anyone should ever hear. Enzo has meningitis and there is nothing that can be done.
“I was in shock. Why do I have to say bye to my superhero boy who has brought me so much joy since the day he was born?
“He would make me laugh and smile and I was so, so proud of him every second of every day.
“Turning the machine off was the hardest, most painful thing ever. I still don’t have words for how that made me feel. I felt a pain I have never felt before.
“Still to this day I can’t get my head around why this happened to my beautiful boy, who had his whole life in front of him. He had just started school and was ready for what the world threw his way.
“Enzo loved life. He loved being around friends and family. He was the most caring and bubbly big brother to Reeco and would give the best cuddles to me.
“I can’t explain the suffering I deal with daily because no words come close to how I feel.
“Meningitis Now was there for me when I needed support. Please now support their Pumpkin Parade to help raise awareness of this disease and funds to fight it, so other families don’t have to go through this same heartbreak.”
Meningitis Now’s Pumpkin Parade takes place in Greenhead Park, Huddersfield, on Sunday 20 October between 2 and 5pm. Families signing up will be given a pumpkin on arrival and at about 4pm will parade around the park on a 2.5km walk, where they will be treated to a spooky Halloween story or two from Kirklees Library storytellers.
Adding to the entertainment will be The KT Dance Academy young dance troupe, who will perform two Halloween dances, and Scisett Youth Band, who will lead the parade with a suitable medley of music.
Sarah Lockey, Meningitis Now’s regional fundraiser, said:
“Our Pumpkin Parade is a spook-tacular lantern-lit, family fun event, aiming to raise valuable funds and awareness to continue our fight against meningitis and support those families who have been affected by this disease. Fancy dress is welcomed – especially pumpkins – and we’ll have face painters and stalls on the day.
“We would love each of the families taking part to pledge to raise £50 in sponsorship to help us continue our vital lifesaving and life-changing work.
You can sign up today by visiting the website – https://www.meningitisnow.org/
Alternatively you can e-mail Sarah on email@example.com and get your registration pack.
Tickets cost £10 for a family (four people) and £3 for additional tickets.