Hartlepool family campaign to save lives from deadly bug with walking challenge as toddler continues recovery

A family are leading a walking challenge to mark every week their little girl fought for her life after she developed a deadly bug after she was born.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 4:45 am

But the Hartlepool youngster, who is now 16-months-old old, has defied the consultants and is thriving, with all her milestones met, leaving the experts “astounded” by her progress, Victoria says.

She launched a campaign to make people aware of the dangers of Group B Strep and is backing calls for the test to be made available to mothers, with July marking Group B Strep Awareness Month.

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Victoria Auton, 36, with her daughter Lexie, 16-months, husband Robbie, 41, Lilah, four-months, and Bradley, seven.

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The 36-year-old mum, who works for Tees Valley Sport, was inspired to launch her own fundraiser for Group B Step Support by Olympic sprinter Ewan Thomas, who he took on an ultra marathon after his son became ill due to the infection.

She has decided to complete five 1km walks to mark each week Lexie was in hospital fighting for her life as mum and daughter walk side by side to complete the route.

Husband Robbie, 41, a corrugator manager for Saica, their son Bradley, seven, who attends Fens Primary, and even four-month Lilah are getting involved too, with the wider family and friends offering their backing to the idea.

Lexie Auton as she was undergoing treatment in hospital.

The first two walks were completed during a family break in the Lake District, with the remaining three to be held close to home and a donations page has already seen more than £700 added to the fund.

Victoria said: “This is all about raising awareness about Group B Strep, to try and help other families and warn them of the potential dangers, as well as tell them about the test, which we are still fighting for.

"I’ve had a lot of messages from women asking about it, or women who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant.

Lexie Auton, pictured with mum Victoria, is now hitting all her milestones after overcoming the problems caused by the Group B Strep bug.

"The message is getting out there, but it’s only my little voice and I want more people to know.”

More details about the infection can be found via https://gbss.org.uk/, while details from the NHS are available through www.nhs.uk/conditions/group-b-strep/.

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Victoria and Lexie Auton have been completing the walking challenge together.

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The Auton family has been working to back Group B Strep Awareness Month.