A COUPLE who almost lost their baby daughter to meningitis are hoping to raise awareness of the deadly disease.

Little Gracie Lizemore was just seven weeks old when she was left clinging to her life after being diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis.

What followed was a three-month ordeal for parents Gemma and Peter, with Gracie needing several bouts of treatment before finally being discharged from hospital.

Gemma, of Allenslade Close, Wiveliscombe, said: “Gracie spent a week at Bristol Children’s Hospital then was transferred back to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

“After initially being sent home for a few days, we had to rush her back into hospital only to find the pneumococcal bug was still in her system.

“She was rushed up to Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital to have emergency surgery to drain fluid from around her brain.

“After spending ten days there she was transferred back to Musgrove, where she spent a further seven weeks having treatment.”

It wasn’t until Gracie was 19 weeks old that she was allowed to leave hospital following her battle with the disease.

She is now on the mend and is at home with mum, dad and four-year-old brother, Ruan.

Gemma, 34, added: “Had it not been for my husband’s prompt action when our daughter was first taken ill and the subsequent care she received in all hospitals, she would have certainly died.”

The couple are holding a fundraiser on Saturday (May 31) in the White Hart, Wiveliscombe, in order to coin in cash for charity Meningitis Now.

There will be clothing, shoes, bric-a-brac, homemade cakes, a raffle and more from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Care home manager Peter, 32, said: “Meningitis Now has provided us with a great deal of support and information since diagnosis and continues to do so.

“We are hoping to raise as much money as we can to support a fantastic charity which has supported us when needed.

“People also need to be aware of meningitis because it can strike at any time.”