Tragic Loss

Fourth year medical student Zachary Gravatt died of meningococcal disease a decade ago at Auckland City Hospital on suspicion he had swine flu.

Zac went to his GP with fevers, rigors, headaches and groin pain around lunchtime before being admitted to hospital around 1.43pm. Over the afternoon he quickly deteriorated but was not transferred to the Department of Critical Care Medicine until 6.40pm. He died 35 minutes later.

While vaccines are available for all five strains, Pharmac is still deciding whether to fully fund them for children and young people.

Jennifer and Lance Gravatt want to improve New Zealand’s health system as a legacy for their son Zac but not enough has been done to eradicate the “preventable scourge”.

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