Northern Territory meningococcal victim Mary-Ellen Hurley remembered for ‘cheeky grin and zest for life’

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Updated

January 04, 2019 17:37:55

Northern Territory meningococcal victim Mary-Ellen Hurley is being remembered by those closest to her for her “kindness, compassion and enormous heart”.

Key points:

  • Condolences from family and friends have been flowing on social media for meningococcal disease victim Mary-Ellen Hurley
  • Her sister wrote that Ms Hurley passed away in Palmerston Hospital with her family by her side
  • In the wake of the tragic incident she has urged parents to ensure their children had up-to-date meningococcal vaccinations

Ms Hurley, 34, was admitted to Palmerston Hospital with the life-threatening disease on New Year’s Eve and died within three hours.

Tributes for the former Taminmin High School student have begun to flow on social media, with her sister Tess writing that Ms Hurley “was not in any pain” when she unexpectedly passed away.

“It is important to know that Em was sedated at the time of her passing and was not in any pain,” she wrote.

“Mum, Jo, her partner Justin and I were all by her side at the time of her passing.

“We understand that you would all have so many unanswered questions about what happened to Em (as do we), however we please ask that our family are given time to process our loss and grieve during this incredibly sad time.”

The family also offered their thanks to hospital workers for the care given to Ms Hurley during her admission.

Tributes flow for a ‘beautiful soul’

Friends and loved ones left messages remembering a young woman who was “one in a million”.

“The earth has lost a beautiful soul,” Becca Ryan wrote.

“You were such a kind, loving and special friend to us and you will be missed terribly,” wrote another friend, Christel Lundh.

“I’ll always remember Mary-Ellen’s kindness, compassion and enormous heart. As well as her cheeky grin and zest for life,” posted Emma Connelly.

“M-E was an absolute tops chick, a dead set legend and a hippy at heart. I’m heartbroken for you all,” wrote Colleen D’Arcy.

Call for vaccinations

In the wake of Ms Hurley’s death, her sister Tess urged parents to ensure their children’s meningococcal vaccinations were up-to-date.

As of Friday morning, it was not known what strain of meningococcal Ms Hurley succumbed to.

Since August 2018, all children in the Northern Territory have been offered free vaccinations against four of the five strains of meningococcal, except for the B strain, known as “one of the deadliest”.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles said she had lobbied her federal counterparts to have the Meningococcal B vaccination made available on the National Immunisation Program, but the request was knocked back.

Australian Medical Association paediatric representative Paul Bauert said Australia would continue to see meningococcal deaths until vaccinations for the B strain were funded by the government.

Topics:

meningococcal-disease,

diseases,

infectious-diseases-other,

death,

darwin-0800,

palmerston-0830

First posted

January 04, 2019 11:59:13



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