Parents rue ignorance

Last updated 13:00 15/12/2012

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Jade Pamata and Simi Ma'anaima would have done things differently if they had known how serious whooping cough could be.

Their 6-week-old daughter, Alaya- Reign Pamata Ma'anaima, died in Christchurch Hospital on November 10 after being diagnosed with the disease nine days earlier.

Pamata took Alaya to a GP after noticing she had developed an odd cough. The doctor recommended taking her to Christchurch Hospital's emergency department.

"There are so many things to worry about when you've got a newborn," Pamata said.

"I was worried about everything but whooping cough. I'd heard about whooping cough, but I didn't know every single detail of it."

The next day it was confirmed Alaya had the disease. The baby's condition deteriorated over the next week and a team from Auckland's Starship children's hospital was brought to Christchurch twice.

However, Alaya was too sick to travel back with the team for specialised treatment. At 2pm on November 10, Alaya's extended family said "their goodbyes" and the baby was disconnected from her breathing tube. Fairfax NZ

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