An 18-day-old baby in Iowa died on July 18 after contracting herpes meningitis from a kiss.
“She is now no longer suffering and is with the Lord,” wrote baby Mariana Sifrit’s mother, Nicole, in a Facebook post. “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.”
Mariana was 6 days old when she was hospitalized on July 7 after she stopped eating and was slow to wake up, reports the Daily Mail.
It was only two hours after her parents exchanged their wedding vows.
At the hospital, the baby was diagnosed with meningitis HSV-1, which is caused by the same herpes virus that causes cold sores.
“It immediately went downhill from there,” her father, Shane, said. “Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail.”
Mariana spent the rest of her short life under the care of doctors.
Her anxious mother spent the next few weeks sharing the status of the baby’s condition on Facebook, capturing the attention of the world.
“My heart is crushed, my baby is declining fast!” Nicole wrote at one point. “She has no brain activity and her lungs and heart are failing along with her kidneys and liver. They are running out of options for her.”
Nearly three weeks later, the newborn died in her father’s arms.
As her parents tested negative for the virus, it is believed somebody who was showing no symptoms gave it to the baby while kissing her or touching her.
“They touched her, and then she touched her mouth with her hand,” her mother explained. “It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how she caught the virus.”
Now Mariana’s grieving parents are using their story to warn others.
“Don’t let just anyone come visit [your baby],” Nicole said. “Make sure they are constantly washing their hands. Don’t let people kiss your baby and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby.”
Loved ones have since created a GoFundMe page to help the family cover the baby’s medical and funeral expenses.
Strangers and friends alike have sent their condolences on the page while making donations.
“I’m really sorry for your loss, I have a four month old and I can’t even imagine what you are going thru,” wrote one person.
“Nicole, I am so sorry this has happened to you and your family,” added another. “Your mac friends are keeping you in our thoughts.”