William Mead was just a year old when he died. He was suffering from sepsis, but his symptoms had been missed. He passed away at home in his sleep.
His mother Melissa has paid tribute to the paramedics who responded to her call.
“The ambulance had blocked our one-car road,” she told the Conservative Party Conference in the UK. “Traffic was queuing, but the paramedics didn’t move their ambulance. They didn’t rush us. They went at our pace. They allowed me to carry my baby in my arms out of my home for what would be the last time. The paramedic sat in the ambulance and he cried with me. A man, a father, a real person.”
Mead says the demeanour of the paramedics was the “only solace” for her and her husband.
“They allowed me the space to lay next to William on his nursery floor and beg and plead with him to wake up, knowing full well that he never would. They were human, they cared and their compassion will never be forgotten.”
Conference delegates openly sobbed.
Melissa and William Mead. Image via Facebook.
William died in December 2014. An inquest found his death was "avoidable and preventable". He had been suffering a chest infection and pneumonia, and had developed the blood poisoning condition sepsis. Mead made multiple visits with William to GPs and the emergency department. Each time, she was told his condition was not urgent, and all he needed was plenty of fluids and rest.
Just a few hours after a final doctor's visit, William passed away.
Mead says she has no desire to blame anyone.
"I do not want my life to be consumed by hate, anger or regret. To seek revenge on those involved would not honour William's memory in the way that he deserves, and it would not bring William back, and that is all I want."
Last month, Mead asked people on Facebook to share this video, to help her keep her promise to William.
Mead has honoured William's memory by spurring the UK government into running a national sepsis awareness campaign. Patients and doctors will be urged to look out for symptoms of the condition, which kills 44,000 people every year in the UK alone.
Early symptoms of sepsis include fast breathing or a fast heartbeat, chills and shivering. More severe symptoms include dizziness, disorientation, mottled skin and nausea. Sepsis needs to be treated promptly with antibiotics to prevent organ failure and death.
Experts think 13,500 lives could be saved annually.
Mead has also raised the equivalent of more than $250,000 through her fundraising page.
There's one more way Mead has honoured William's memory. Last week she gave birth to a second child, another boy, weighing exactly the same as William did when he was born. She has named her new son Arthur William, after the big brother he will never meet.
"William will be very proud," she wrote on Facebook.