The first few days after bringing home their newborn daughter were a joy for John and Louise Wills.
Their delightful newborn Eibhlin, born on November 19th 2015, was feeding well and sleeping and the new parents were besotted with their tiny baby.
“She was perfect, so placid and relaxed,” Louise recalls with joy in her voice.
When she became slightly congested and out of sorts they didn’t think twice as John himself had recently had a cold, but there was no cause for alarm they thought as she was sleeping well.
John and Louise Wills. Image Via Facebook.
But their newborn's colour changed and she became listless they grew concerned and took her to hospital near their home in Ireland's capital, Dublin.
John and Louise never suspected a thing but tragically she deteriorated quickly. To their horror, just hours after they arrived at emergency, Eibhlin was pronounced dead.
It was 1:09am - one week after she was brought home.
John Wills told Mamamia in a statement: "She was handed to Louise and I wrapped in her blanket with her little eyes closed."
The devastated family and medical staff never suspected what a post mortem revealed days later.
Eibhlin died of the cold sore virus.
“They did their best but they couldn’t save her. Cot death was ruled out. There were no red flags until it was far too late,” Mr Wills told RTE.
Eibhlin died of the cold sore virus. Image supplied.
The heartbroken couple have turned their grief into good, by using Eibhlin's death as a way to speak out about how this common virus can kill.
“In 90 per cent of cases the virus is transferred from mother to baby, but Louise was cleared. It came from another adult. The heel prick test taken when she was still in the hospital indicated that she had contracted it in the hospital. In the place where she should have been safest," Mr Wills said.
“We don’t know exactly when she got it, we just know it was shortly after birth. It came from someone within the hospital.”
Eibhlin's mother Louise told RTE: "In a place where she should have been safest, she contracted it there.”