Scunthorpe family who lost daughter to meningitis launch awareness drive
A SCUNTHORPE family who lost a popular teenager to meningitis have launched an awareness drive to stop others from "feeling the pain we felt after losing her".
Pauline Skinner-Gibson, 59, of Scunthorpe, lost her 15-year-old daughter Kimberley to the killer brain-bug 22 years ago.
Kimberley, often described as a "fun-loving and very caring teenager", died on January 26, 1991 after exhibiting only flu-like symptoms.
She fell ill on the Thursday night and despite all efforts at Scunthorpe General Hospital, she died on the Saturday evening.
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Pauline's daughter Danielle Jackson, 23, and friend Norah Barnard, 57, joined Meningitis UK founder Steve Dayman to launch a fortnight-long road show at Asda, Burringham Road, from February 19.
There was a giant billboard and the group handed out a range of awareness materials including wallet-sized symptoms card, which have helped save lives in the past.
Pauline said: "I continue to dedicate thousands of hours to raising awareness of this deadly disease in memory of Kimberley.
"We feel her loss and miss her every day – it's important to raise awareness to stop this from happening to other people.
"Danielle was only two when it happened and does not remember it, but always helps me as she knows what it means to me.
"Someone took the newspaper cutting about Kimberley to Steve in Bristol and we've been friends ever since – battling against this awful disease.
"After the loss, Pauline's friends rallied around her, including Norah, from Scunthorpe.
Norah said: "Kimberley was like a daughter to me, I was her second mum – she was always round my house.
"To see her deteriorate was horrific, it was so quick and I don't want to see anything like that again.
"Meningitis awareness is more prominent than it used to be, but we need to raise as much awareness as we can.
"We need to stamp it out."
Mr Dayman MBE, who launched Meningitis UK after losing his 14-month-old son Spencer to the disease in 1982, said: "Pauline, Danielle and Norah's experience tragically illustrates the devastation meningitis can cause and the speed with which it can strike.
"Our aim is to stamp out this deadly disease.
"Developing preventative vaccines for all forms of meningitis is the best way to achieve this goal."In the meantime, it's crucial to know the symptoms of meningitis and seek medical advice fast if you suspect the disease.
"The awareness trailer is a great way to spread this lifesaving message.
"Cases of meningitis peak around February, so it's even more important to be vigilant for signs of the disease at this time of year.
"Meningitis UK's giant trailer will be parked outside the store to highlight the disease's symptoms and the need to act quickly, carrying the hard-hitting warning that meningitis can kill in under four hours.
Although successful vaccines exist to protect against some forms of meningitis, there still isn't vaccines to protect against all strains.
For more information on Meningitis UK, to donate or for a free symptoms pack, please call 0117 947 6320 or visit www.meningitisUK.org.