The parents of a 10-year-old Irish girl who died tragically have chosen to talk about the harrowing details of their daughter’s death in the hopes that they can help prevent other tragedies.
A young girl from Ireland named Vivienne Murphy died of her illness in March 2019, not long after she said she had a sore throat and was in pain. On RTÉ’s This Week, Lilly and Dermot Murphy talked openly about their daughter Vivienne’s sudden sickness.
Around Valentine’s Day, Vivienne got a high temperature and a rash, which was the first bad thing that happened. In just a few days, her health got much worse, and she had to go to the hospital. Vivienne was first treated at Cork University Hospital, but she had to be moved to Temple Street in Dublin for a more thorough analysis.
Doctors first thought that Vivienne had a viral infection, but the fact that she didn’t respond to the medicine and continued to get worse made them doubt this idea. “We said it can’t be, there must be something else, because it’s been going on for days,” Lilly said, showing how worried the couple was.
Coming up today, the harrowing story of ten yr old Vivienne Murphy who died of invasive Strep infection, her parents speak to us to raise awareness of the devastating consequences. pic.twitter.com/fgd1al8qlO
— This Week RTÉ (@thisweekrte) April 16, 2023
Dermot said, “As the situation got worse, we saw that she was still getting worse, and the rash looked very angry. By the evening, she was in pain, and we saw that the knee of her right leg was swollen.”
He talked about how worried they were and how hard they tried to tell the first doctor, emphasizing that their child’s condition was getting worse.
When the hospital staff saw a black mark on Vivienne’s leg, they were shocked. This made their sad story even worse. After a lot of tests, the Murphys finally found out what was wrong with their daughter: she had caught Strep A.
The black mark was a sign of sepsis and a dangerous condition called necrotizing fasciitis. This is a deadly bacterial infection that spreads quickly and is often called the “flesh-eating disease.”
After the scary news, Vivienne had to have an operation that “took hours” at Temple Street hospital. The brave little girl thanked the nurse before she was put to sleep. “That was her sense of honor. They were the last words she ever spoke on this earth. She felt so much for people. Dermot thought about how sad the world is without her.
After the surgery, the doctors told the patient some shocking news. “He said, ‘I think I’ve stopped the disease from spreading, but I had to cut away 17% of your daughter’s body,'” Dermot said of the heart-stopping moment. He said that at first, they thought that if they had moved sooner, they would have only needed a small surgery.
But their bad situation got even worse when Vivienne had a heart attack. Dermot remembered very clearly how hard the medical team tried to bring her back to life. But their hope was crushed when they found out later that the cardiac arrest had caused serious damage that led to her death.
In the wake of their terrible loss, the Murphys gave all parents some wise advice. “If your child has a fever or a rash, keep an eye on them because these things can change so fast. Our daughter had signs and symptoms at first, and then she was gone in ten days,” they said. “We just beg and plead with parents to watch out for these things, don’t be submissive, and don’t ever think you’re being an overreacting parent, because you’re not.”