A mother who lost her baby six days after giving birth has called for other new parents to be aware of a deadly virus during pregnancy.
Denise Brajkovic, from Wenworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, Australia, lost her baby son Julian two days after they were discharged from hospital.
Little Julian lost interest in food and became lethargic with signs of severe internal bleeding and liver failure.
He was contracted an enterovirus called Echovirus 9 while in utero.
Enteroviruses can be spread through the faecal-oral route and Denise believed she caught it at a shopping centre during her third trimester.
Her symptoms were flu-like, with severe chills and body aches.
But she didn’t realise Echovirus had been passed on to baby Julian a week before she gave birth.
Echovirus 9 is rare and deadly in newborns who have no immunity unless it is passed on by their mothers.
But baby Julian did not stay inside his mother’s womb long enough to receive immunity, he could not fight against the the Echovirus.
He was born healthy on July 9 but three days later he started to lose interest in food.
Denise said: “I asked the nurse and doctors if this was ok, and they assured me it was normal.
“Deep down inside I didn’t have a good feeling. He was a bit jaundiced they said, but his jaundice count was low.”
Julian’s situation has got worse on day six and mum Denise and dad Mat had to rush him to Westmead Children’s Hospital where doctors tried everything they could to save Julian.
Five hours later, Denise was told by the doctor that Julian was brain dead due to severe bleeding in the brain.
“Mat and I then had to make the most unimaginable decision to have our son taken off life support,” Denise said.
“Julian died in our arms a little while later.”
Moving on, Denise has started a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of contracting enteroviruses during later pregnancy.
She shared her story on social media in the hope that other babies may be saved and reminded other mothers-to-be in their third trimester to limit their contact in public places.
She said: “I contracted [the virus] from a shopping centre…Wash your hands more often.”