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Six days after giving birth to little Mariana, the joyful couple exchanged vows in front of their family friends, with Mariana was in attendance.
However, two hours later, things took what was to become a tragic turn when Mariana stopped eating and was to slow to wake up.
“It immediately went downhill from there,” says Mr Sifrit, speaking to WHO-TV.
“Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail.”
According to WQAD, Mariana had contracted meningitis HSV-1 – a disease caused by the herpes virus. Tests confirmed that neither of her parents have ever had the disease – Mariana had become infected at the hands of someone else.
Her organs began to shut down one by one before Mariana tragically died in her father’s arms.
Now Nicole shares a warning for parents alike in the hopes they’ll never have to suffer the unimaginable pain she and her husband went through.
“I never thought I would be going home without a baby,” she told People.
“If you know that you carry a virus, even if it doesn’t affect you, please don’t go see a newborn child, because there is nothing that they can do to fight it off.”
“Just being a new parent, be aware of who you have come to the hospital, make sure people are washing their hands. Be protective over your baby and don’t feel that you’re being rude,” she adds.
“Protecting your child is your job, and don’t feel like you’re hurting other people’s feelings.”
According to midwife Megan Baker, HSV is highly contagious – and dangerous.
“If you have an active cold sore please remember to limit your exposure to young children, particularly babies and anyone else with a compromised immune system,” she warns.
“The virus can be easily transmitted through contact such as kissing and this can cause a potentially life-threatening meningitis infection.”
And, tragically, in Mariana’s case, it did…
Posting a message on Facebook that no parent should ever have to write, heartbroken Nicole said:
“She is now no longer suffering and is with the Lord.”
“In her 18 days of life she made a huge impact on the world and we hope with Mariana’s Story we save numerous newborns life.”
“R.I.P. sweet angel.”
Following their daughter’s tragic death, the Sifrits are using their daughter’s horrible, unexpected death to urge people who are unwell to steer clear from young children at all costs.
“Keep your babies isolated, don’t let just anyone come visit them, and make sure they are constantly washing their hands,” the heartbroken couple warn.
“Don’t let people kiss your baby, and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby.”