A 13-year-old girl died of meningitis and septicemia after waking up one morning with "gray eyes" and a rash just days after Christmas, her mother said devastated.
High school senior Maisie Dicks died on New Year's Day – three days after telling her mother Sharon Stokes that she was feeling bad.
Mum Sharon, 38, said she "thought it was just a bug," but by the time she was aware of the seriousness of her daughter's condition "it was too late."
She said she called an ambulance after Maisie of Merthyr Tydfil in southern Wales woke up with "gray eyes" and a rash, and her "arms went black in an hour" as her condition worsened rapidly.
Sharon now wants more parents to be aware of the symptoms of meningitis, so they do not have to go through the same heartbreak.
Sharon said, "I thought it was just a bug. If she had had a temperature or breathing difficulties, I might have thought differently.
"When I heard it, it was too late."
Sharon called an ambulance on Dec. 30 after Maisie woke up with "gray eyes" and a rash.
Sharon said, "His arms went black in an hour. It was so fast it was unbelievable.
"She had meningitis, but it was septicemia at that time, and when I heard it, it was too late, I could not have done anything else."
Maisie was immediately put into an induced coma when she arrived at the hospital, but died two days later.
Sharon said, "I honestly did not believe it was like this. I thought she was very sick, but not that she would die.
"I'm numb, it has not hit me yet. Everything she had for Christmas is still in the house.
"She was a loving and caring person and very grateful.
"Even when we were at the hospital, she was thanking me for taking care of her and telling me she liked it.
"She would do anything for someone and wanted to help everyone. She was just a very happy child.
"She wanted to join the army to fight for her country when she grew up."
Symptoms of meningitis include fever, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, severe muscle pain, severe headache, stiff neck and aversion to strong lights.
Sufferers may also have seizures or convulsions, pale or stained skin and blemishes or a rash.
Sharon said: "What I want from this story is that people are aware of meningitis and especially of septicemia.
"That's what kills you. I do not want another family to have to go through that."