A PENARTH mum is campaigning to have gold standard tests to prevent life-threatening infections in newborn babies made freely and routinely available on the NHS - after her son was left with cerebral palsy from a preventable case of meningitis.
Jade Jones is raising awareness of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) - the most common form of life-threatening infection in newborns - and supporting an e-petition for high-quality testing kits to be available to all mums during every pregnancy after her son developed GBS at just three weeks old.
Jade, 27, had never heard of the potentially deadly infection until the doctors gave her the bad news, and although prematurely-born Riley recovered he now suffers with the unwated legacy of cerebral palsy.
Queens Road resident Jade said alarm bells were raised when Riley - now one-and-a-half - became agitated and unable to feed. Then his body movements became lethargic.
She said: "Riley was a very sick boy. GBS nearly took his life - I remember we even said our goodbyes on Christmas Eve.
"Now he is is a happy, lovely little boy but he has little muscle movement and is unable to sit up or do little else with his body apart from roll over."
Jade recently found out she was pregnant again and imediately decided to be tested for GBS ahead of the birth.
But she was told the gold standard kit is not available from the local NHS Trust, and that it would cost £300 to have it done at a private hospital nearby.
Fortunately, Jade she was able to get her hands on a sensitive test from MumStuff, a website for expectant and new mothers, for £35.
"It is vital that expectant mums know about this infection and to realise how deadly it can be," Jade added.
"A simple antibiotic drip during labour is all that is needed to eliminate the risk of it being passed to the baby.
"The ultimate aim is to get the sensitive testing kit made freely and routinely available to every mum during every pregnancy on the NHS but until then MumStuff is a lifesaver, literally."
Mumstuff recently despatched its 10,000th GBS private testing kit to a pregnant mother.
To sign the Group B Strep e-petition go to www.gbss.org.uk/epetition
For the Mumstuff website see  www.MumStuff.co.uk
For more information on charity Group B Strep Support visit www.gbss.org.uk