Maryland mom Abigail Rose Friend, 19, was thrilled when her daughter Aliza Rose was born in May 2018.
But now, the mother and the child’s father are in mourning — all because someone kissed or touched their newborn baby girl, Friend wrote on Facebook.
The mom wrote, in part:
I’m never going to stop sharing the gut wrenching, heartbreaking, soul shattering story of our sweet Aliza Rose. She was 8 days old when she passed away. She was born a happy healthy almost 9lb baby.
According to The Sun, Friend’s daughter was only healthy for 36 hours before she started becoming lethargic and sick.
The mom said that “neonatal herpes” was to blame. She wrote:
She was healthy for a day and half before the HSV-1 virus attached to her spine and ate her lungs and brain.
Friend said the infection was the result of someone doing something seemingly innocuous – kissing or touching her baby. She said:
Someone touched her without washing their hands or kissed her face while being a carrier of the virus. And anyone can be a carrier and not show signs! It’s fatal until at least two weeks old and parents can pass it on to them as well!
After several days, Aliza was declared brain dead and the parents made the difficult decision to remove their daughter from life support.
According to Boston Children’s Hospital, most neonatal herpes infections are caused by mothers who are infected with the virus. A much smaller percentage occur in the days following a newborns birth.
Newborns are particularly vulnerable to herpes because they have a low immune system at birth. It can cause seizures and death in young babies.
Now, Friend said she’s sharing her story so this doesn’t happen to another family. She wrote:
Please help us save more babies lives by sharing our story and NOT kissing babies. WASH YOE HANDS. DO NOT KISS THE BABIES. #NeoNatalDeathAwareness #TheyLived#ItHappens #WashYourHands #DONOTKISSTHEBABIES
The parents remain unsure who kissed or touched baby Aliza and passed on the virus, but the mom said only loved ones were allowed in the room when she was infected. Friend told The Sun:
“I’m going to do everything I can to bring awareness to this disease for the rest of my life.”
UPDATE [10/30/18, 10:45 a.m. EST]:
Editor’s Note: The article was updated to reflect new information that the infection came from a loved one.