A mother whose baby son has suffered a serious brain injury has demanded that all pregnant women be screened for a potentially fatal bacterial infection.
Bethany Ford, 23, warned of the dangers of Group B Strep, which led to son Grayson Harris getting meningitis.
The child was tested for his illness during his contractions at the Epsom Hopsital in Surrey, but when the positive results returned, Grayson was already born.
He was sent to the special baby care unit where he stayed for two weeks, only to later find that he had a brain injury.
Grayson was discharged from hospital two weeks after giving birth in December 2015, but resumed weeks later, according to MyLondon.
He now has global developmental delay.
Bethany and her partner, Keith Harris, 32, of Mitcham, South London, advised Irwin Mitchell's medical negligence lawyers to investigate the care of their son through the NPS Trust of Epsom and St. Helier University, the hospital operate.
While they were working, the family and their attorney team joined forces to celebrate Group B's Strep Awareness Month.
Bethany and Keith support the call for all women in the NHS to be screened for Strep in Group B between the 35th and 37th weeks of pregnancy so that appropriate care plans can be established to prevent the transmission of maternal infection to their babies.
Richard Kayser, Medical Negligence Specialist with Irwin Mitchell, said: "More than three years after Grayson's birth, Bethany and Keith are understandably still very concerned about the problems he has faced in his life so far.
"As we continue working to investigate their case, we believe the Month of Awareness is an appropriate time to reflect on why Group B Strep tests should be improved.
"A simple test can be performed to find out if an expectant mother is the carrier of the disease, and their care plan can be adjusted to ensure that intravenous antibiotics are given throughout the labor market to prevent transmission of the infection.
"Everything must be done to prevent this infection in babies."
Bethany had a routine pregnancy on December 16, 2015 when her water broke. She was taken to Epson Hospital and a nurse took a swab from her, which she later learned was to be tested on Group B Strep.
Grayson was born the next day around 10 o'clock. That afternoon he started to grunt and scream.
At 6 pm he was admitted to the special ward for babies. It was then confirmed that the group B strep test was positive and had caused meningitis.
Grayson was released on New Year's Eve but returned to the hospital following re-treatment, but Bethany and Keith were devastated when he was admitted to the Queen Mary Children's Hospital at the end of January, run by the same NHS Trust as Epsom Hospital became the infection.
He was diagnosed with a brain injury and is suffering from a global developmental delay.
Now, at the age of three, Grayson's brain injury means that he tends to be impulsive and can quickly go from calm to angry.
He has difficulty processing things and this has sometimes led him to hurt himself by behaving like pulling his own hair. He also struggles with communication problems and restless sleep.
Bethany said, "The first few weeks in Grayson's life were unbelievably traumatic, and no parent should have to see how his child suffers and how he struggles." It is also difficult to understand that the physicians at first did not think it was a cause for Worry exists.
"The older Grayson gets, the more we realize how far behind other children of his age are.
"We love Grayson so much and we're determined to make sure he gets the most out of his life. However, we also consider it essential to take steps to ensure that group B streptests are conducted much earlier than in our case.
"This Awareness Month is an important time to talk about this issue, and we believe something has to change."
The charity Group B Strep Support has more information about this condition.
Visit https://gbss.org.uk for more information.
(tagsToTranslate) Babies (t) NHS (t) Hospitals (t) Pregnancy