A GROUP of young dancers act out the signs of meningitis in a moving new video released by the grieving mother of a six-year-old girl from Oldham who died from the disease two years ago today (Monday, February 4).

Kirsty Ermenekli helped daughter Layla-Rose’s old dance troupe put together the poignant tribute as a way to help raise awareness about the disease – and hopefully prevent others going through the devastation she has faced.

The Oldham Times:


Layla-Rose died in 2017 within hours of falling ill. An inquest last year ruled that her death could have been avoided.

Speaking about why Layla-Rose’s dance troupe the Collette’s put together the sequence – which includes showing the signs and symptoms of the disease such as “irritability” and “severe headache, stiff neck” – Kirsty said: “Layla had been a member of that group from the moment she could dance, she loved it and was due to be that year’s Tots leader before she passed away.

“Everyone in the group was of course devastated by her death so wanted to do something to help prevent it happening to others.

“This dance sequence is a brilliant way to show what the signs and symptoms of the disease are. I hope it gets seen by as many people as possible.”

It was only recently that Kirsty had been able to tell the story of what happened on the awful night of her daughter’s death.

Speaking to the UK’s largest Meningitis charity, Meningitis Now, she told how that morning Layla-Rose had skipped off to school, smiling and saying “bye mum” to her.

But later that day she had started feeling ill, with symptoms including head and belly ache, tiredness, and a high temperature. By evening, Kirsty took her to A&E at her local hospital where she started to go downhill rapidly.

Tragically, later that night she passed away. “It just all happened so quick, we never had a chance to say goodbye,” said Kirsty.

“One minute she was looking at me and giving a little smile, and then she just went.”

Kirsty, along with her older children Melika, 11, and Emrae, 3, and husband Ramazan, have struggled ever since Layla-Rose’s death but have been supported by Meningitis Now.

“We have had a lot of support from Meningitis Now, which we are very grateful for,” said Kirsty, who was pregnant with her fourth child Laylen at the time of Layla’s death and has since had Enver-Jax.

“This is why we turned to them for help with publicising this video.

“We really want it to reach as wide an audience as possible – so hope we can work together to achieve this.”

Meningitis Now chief executive Dr Tom Nutt added that this was a great example of how a community could come together to help one of its members get through a difficult time.

“Meningitis can have such a devastating impact – not just on those closest to the tragedy but to the wider community as well,” he said.

“So it is always heartening to hear when this wider community comes together and unites to do something like this which we hope will help prevent further tragic stories like that of Layla-Rose.”

The video link is available at https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/news-centre/news-stories/dancers-honour-layla-rose.