An Iowa couple is mourning the loss of their three-week-old daughter after the infant contracted a deadly viral infection from a visitor. Now, her parents are hoping to spread awareness of how easily babies can find themselves suffering from transmissible diseases.
Nicole and Shane Sifrit were ecstatic to welcome little Mariana into the world on July 1, one week before their planned wedding date. The ceremony took a tragic turn when Mariana suddenly “quit breathing, and all her organs just started to fail,” her distraught mother told WHO.
The wedding was abruptly canceled as the Sifrits rushed their newborn to a children’s hospital in Des Moines. There, Mariana was diagnosed with meningitis HSV-1, a disease caused by the herpes virus that is also responsible for cold sores. That is how Nicole began to piece together what happened to her child.
“They touched her, and then she touched her mouth with her hand,” she said, noting that both her and her husband tested negative for the virus. “It’s hard to pinpoint how exactly she caught the virus, but it’s important people are cautious when they let anyone handle their babies.”
By July 10, Mariana was facing an uphill battle.
“She has no brain activity and her lungs and heart are failing along with her kidney and liver, they are running out of options for her,” Nicole shared on social media.
Mariana’s week-long battle with the disease ended on Tuesday morning, her mother announced in a Facebook post.
“Our princess Mariana Reese Sifrit gained her angel wings at 8:41 am this morning in her daddy’s arms and her mommy right beside her,” the heartbreaking post reads. “She is now no longer suffering and is with the Lord. Thank you to everyone who has followed her journey and supported us through this.”
“In her 18 days of life she made a huge impact on the world and we hope with Mariana’s Story we save numerous newborns life,” the post concluded. “RI.P. sweet angel.”