Toddler died seven hours after being tested for deadly disease

Mason, 18 months, had meningococcal disease

An 18-month-old boy who lost his battle with meningococcal disease just seven hours after showing signs of it, has been remembered as an ‘amazing little man.’

Mason Harvey Marks tragically died at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide on Sunday. The 18-month-old had been airlifted there after being tested for the deadly disease at Mannum Hospital that morning.

On Tuesday, it was confirmed he had the B-strain of disease, which is not currently covered on the taxpayer-funded National Immunisation Program, the Adelaide Advertiser, reports.

In a statement, his heartbroken mother, Caitlyn, said she was still in shock and didn’t want his death to be real.

‘Mason was an amazing little man who will forever be in everyone’s hearts,’ she said. ‘He was taken way too soon by a horrible disease that took his life in a matter of seven hours.’

Her sister and Mason’s aunt, Racheal Byers, has set up a gofundme page to raise funds for his funeral.

‘No words can began to describe the heartache and sorrow we are experiencing at the sudden loss of Mason Harvey,’ she wrote. ‘He was a beautiful bubbly little boy.

‘A son to my sister Caitlyn and Ryan. A grandson to my mother Mandy and Tim and Julie. He was a nephew to his aunties and uncles, and a cousin. Mason was loved by all that knew him. He had a cheeky smile and an infectious laugh.

‘Yesterday morning Mason fell ill with what was suspected meningococcal disease. He was rushed to Mannum Hospital in which the excellent team of doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to save his life. He was airlifted to RAH and transferred to Women’s & Children’s however lost his fight soon after. Family and close friends gathered to say goodbye to our now angel.

‘We are seeking the help of the community to assist our family with the expenses of the upcoming funeral. This has happened so suddenly and we hope by raising some funds we can take the stress off the family an allow them to focus on grieving. We aim to give him the most beautiful and heart felt goodbye. This little boy will forever hold a place in our hearts.’

So far the campaign has raised more than $9000.

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