Mum of girl who died from meningitis slams Jeremy Hunt for ‘Google rash’ advice

Julia Styles with daughter Emily, who died in 2014
Julia Styles with daughter Emily, who died in 2014

A mum whose daughter died suddenly from meningitis has called for Jeremy Hunt to resign after he suggested parents should ‘Google rash’ instead of visiting their GP.

Emily Styles, who lived in Buckingham, showed no signs of a rash before she passed away on New Year’s Day 2014, aged 19.

And after the health secretary’s controversial comments were published in The Daily Mail, Emily’s mum Julia thinks he should be ‘ashamed of himself’.

Julia was so disgusted by his comments, she wrote a letter of complaint to MP for Buckingham John Bercow and TV show This Morning.

“Jeremy Hunt should resign,” said Julia, who teaches at the Royal Latin School. “Emily did not have a rash, even after her death.

“We had no clue that it was meningitis or that meningitis even affected her age group.

“Meningitis entered Emily’s brain rapidly and despite the best efforts of paramedics and the air ambulance and the John Radcliffe, she could not fight the disease.

“I repeat, she had no rash.”

Last week, Mr Hunt said parents could go online to check the severity of their child’s rash.

He said: ‘We may well need more 111 doctors and nurses.

“But if you’re worried about a rash your child has, an online alternative where you look at photographs and say: ‘My child’s rash looks like this one’ may be a quicker way of getting to the bottom of whether this is serious or not.”

He made the comments during a meeting with the family of William Mead – the one-year-old boy who died in December 2014, after sepsis was not spotted.

The health secretary was forced to publicly apologise to the family but Julia thinks his position is untenable .

She said: “He is endangering lives and should be ashamed of himself.

“Meningitis kills in hours and leaves others with life-changing, catastrophic amputations, brain damage and other effects.”