A young mother forced to disconnect her son's life support machine for 10 days after she unknowingly passed the herpes virus during her birth asked all pregnant women to get tested for the virus.
Bar worker Kira Aldcroft, 22, of Prestwich, Greater Manchester, had a healthy pregnancy before her son Leo Aldcroft was born nine days before 9 August.
One's mother had never experienced any symptoms of genital herpes other than the thrush, which she said the nurses told her was a common side effect of being pregnant, and so she did not know she was harboring the latent virus.
But only eight days after Leo's birth, Miss Aldcroft's dream turned into a nightmare when her son was taken to hospital with suspected sepsis after he began to bleed from his mouth, before dying this month on May 19. August.
Kira Aldcroft, 22, of Prestwich, pictured with her son Leo, who sadly died eight days after his birth.
Miss Aldcroft, pictured when she was pregnant with Leo, has now spoken for all women to get tested for Herpes HSV2 virus.
Leo, in the photo, was placed in an induced coma after Miss Aldcroft unconsciously transmitted Herpes HSV2 virus to her son during delivery.
The doctors discovered that the 22-year-old girl was carrying the Herpes HSV2 virus, a type of genital herpes, that she had unconsciously transmitted to her son during delivery.
Miss Aldcroft is now speaking to raise awareness about the deadly virus, only a few days after Leo's death, and asks that herpes tests be mandatory for all future mothers.
She said: "I always wanted to be a mom, so being able to take Leo home was just a dream come true, everything was finally perfect and everyone was happy.
"But since Leo was in the hospital with doctors and nurses surrounding him, it was his mother's worst nightmare.
"I was physically ill when the herpes test returned positive, since I had done everything humanly possible to give my son the best start in life.
I could have contracted it before or during pregnancy, since it may be inactive for months or years, so there's no way to know.
"I did not know that I had the virus, since there were no other symptoms other than oral candidiasis, and if I had been offered a test during my pregnancy, all this heart pain could have been prevented.
"Now I'm urging men and women to get tested, that's my message to everyone, not just pregnant women.
Baby Leo with Miss Aldcroft's mother, Karen Tunnah. Just a few hours after Leo was first transferred to the hospital, the doctors told his mother that his liver and kidneys were failing.
& # 39; I hope to share the story of Leo will save other lives & # 39;
Herpes has two strains, which are dangerous for babies because their immune system has not yet been fully developed to fight the virus.
Type 1 can cause cold sores, while type 2 usually causes genital herpes and the virus can be transmitted to newborn babies during vaginal delivery.
While Leo was fighting for his life in the hospital, the doctors told Miss Aldcroft that her son's chances of survival diminished minute by minute.
Unable to hold her baby, the 22-year-old girl and her mother Karen Tunnah had to look helplessly at the doctors who were fighting to save her life.
Kira Aldcroft, 22, holding her son Leo after her birth. The 22-year-old talks about her sad experience and also raises money for Royal Manchester Children's Hospital
But on Sunday morning, just hours after being admitted to the hospital for the first time, doctors told him that his liver and kidneys were failing and that he would have to put him on a dialysis machine to keep him alive.
Leo was moved to a private room when Miss Aldcroft was told it was time to baptize her baby.
Soon after, Kira and her mother received the devastating news that the medical staff had found a clot and swelling in Leo's brain and that all of his organs were failing.
It was then that Kira decided that her brave boy had suffered enough and took the heartbreaking decision to shut down her life support machines.
She said: "Since Leo was in the hospital, all I wanted to do was hug him, kiss him and tell him everything would be fine.
Despite his short life, his mother, Miss Aldcroft, said her son touched the life of everything he knew.
"I told my baby to fight and that we were all on his side, and how much I loved him and wanted to go home with him.
"Leo's baptism was a good time to know that he could bless him before he passed away.
"He wanted to be baptized at Christmas, but obviously he arrived much earlier.
"The consultant then told us that his condition had worsened.
"Once I knew the state of Leo's health, I knew it was about time for his mother to say 'enough is enough.'
"Once I had decided that, they allowed me to be with him and be by his side."
"I fell asleep with my head in her incubator and held her hand and when it was time to stop the machines, they let me hold her."
Leo, represented not long after his birth. Her mother is now channeling her pain towards the campaign for all future mothers
"It was heartbreaking, as I breathed for the last time in my arms, I held his hand and hugged him so close, and told him how proud he was of him.
& # 39; The doctors then left the room and allowed me and my family to spend our time alone and the opportunity to say goodbye. & # 39;
Despite her short life, Miss Aldcroft insists that her son touched the lives of everyone she met.
After Leo's death, the bereaved mother was forced to return home, surrounded by the clothes and toys she had prepared for the baby a few weeks before.
But now she is channeling her grief into the campaign so that all expectant mothers undergo mandatory screening for all types of the herpes virus.
She said: Leo was the calmest and happiest baby you've ever met.
& # 39; He was a dream. I tell everyone that he was born as an angel.
& # 39; He never cried until that night.
"His death has been even more difficult because I went back to a house with all his things here.
"I can see all the things here that would have been."
Miss Aldcroft is raising money for the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital in Go Fund Me