Friends get busy to raise thousands in Ella’s memory

John Knighton, medical director of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

QA’s medical director says CQC report is upsetting - but believes change will come

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THERE was a hive of activity on top of a mountain as a group of campaigners caused a buzz.

Dad Michael Frost, of Stubbington Avenue, North End, climbed to the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland in memory of his daughter Ella.

He had with him a group of 15 friends and family, who shared the journey with him dressed as bees.

The idea to climb the 4,409ft mountain came from Michael and his wife Natalie, a test analyst.

The couple lost their daughter – who they named Ella – during childbirth.

Ella contracted a bacteria called group B streptococcus during childbirth.

Electrician Michael said: ‘Reaching the summit was a very proud and emotional moment for all of us.

‘I blew our Ella a big kiss and told her I loved her.

‘It was the highest point I could reach and the closest I was to her for now.’

It took the group four-and-a-half hours to reach the top where they spent an hour taking in the views.

Ella’s godmother Lian Sissons said: ‘I was at the back the whole time and I never thought I would make it up there.

‘Luckily we all supported each other and every time I felt like I couldn’t go on, I would think of the heartache that this has caused Mike and Natalie, and my goddaughter Ella, and I refused to give up.’

The team climbed for charity Group B Strep Support (GBSS) and has so far raised £4,491.

A family fun day held at The Old Oyster House, in Locksway Road, Milton, also raised a further £2,860.

Michael and Natalie believe that if a simple £10 test had been available on the NHS to test for GBS, then Ella may have survived.

GBS is a germ found in about a quarter of women, and often causes no ill effects.

If found, it can be treated with antibiotics.

A test for the bacteria which costs about £10 is available – but not on the NHS.

The National Screening Committee is in charge of what should be tested.

It launched a three-month consultation in June to seek the view of parents and find out about their experiences relating to GBS.

A petition to raise the matter in parliament did not collect enough signatures to go ahead.