A man who had all of his limbs amputated and his face reconstructed after nearly dying from Strep A has begged other parents to be vigilant.

The warning comes as Britain’s death toll from the infection rose to nine children today.

But back in November 2013, Alex Lewis thought he just had ‘man flu’ and said he moaned continuously for ten days until his health suddenly started to deteriorate.

On November 17 that year, he woke up in immense pain and his skin had begun turning purple.

Alex had to be rushed to hospital and within hours his organs were being kept working by mechanical assistance.

Without realising it, Alex had caught Strep A and was given a three per cent chance of survival by doctors.

His infection, which for most people is little more than a sore throat, led to toxic shock syndrome and septicaemia.

Over the next following months he had to undergo a number of drastic surgeries and lost all of his limbs as medics fought for his life.

Alex had to undergo facial reconstruction as the infection ravaged his face and mouth as well.

Despite all that, the 42-year-old managed to survive. But seeing so many children die of the same infection which nearly took his life has brought it all back to him.

Alex said: “I saw an interview with the father of a little girl in Alder Hey hospital and that was pretty raw. I can only imagine what he’s going through and I know my family went through similar. It’s tough.

“It’s great that the media is raising awareness. I think it’s important parents don’t panic as it is cold and flu season, but with low baseline immunity after two years of not mixing, things are spreading in schools and it’s quite a worrying time.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. We know the NHS is under a lot of pressure, but contact your GP, call 111 or go to A&E if necessary and get your child on antibiotics.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m very lucky to be here. Don’t be afraid to push to have your child seen.”

The ninth British child has now tragically died after contracting Strep A.

The five-year-old girl became severely ill last week and was being treated at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. The BBC reports the girl had been moved to intensive care before she died.

It comes after the deaths of Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, 4, in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and Hanna Roap, 7, in Penarth, Wales.

A 12-year-old student from Lewisham, London has also died, their school confirmed, while another child died in Hampshire this week and a six-year-old died in Ashford, Surrey in late November.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed last week that five children under the age of five have died in England after contracting Strep A, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths of children to eight.

 

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