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Holding On

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A newborn baby that was only 8 days old passed away after catching herpes from a ‘kiss of death’, her mother has revealed, in an effort to spread awareness.

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Aliza Rose Friend was just over 1 week old when she passed away after developing neonatal herpes from the HSV-1 virus. Her 19-year-old mother Abigail claims that Aliza was healthy for the first 36 hours of her life, until she developed a fever, became lethargic, and lost any interest in drinking her food.

The newborn quickly deteriorated as the disease “ate her lungs and brain,” which left her struggling to breathe and suffering seizures throughout the day. After doctors told Miss Friend and her partner Tyler Hensley there was “real hope” Aliza would make it, she was later declared brain dead on May 20 and medics ended up turning off her life-support.

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After the plug was pulled, doctors later told Miss Friend that her daughter likely caught the infection after being kissed by someone with the virus, which typically manifests as a cold sore.

In a Facebook post that has now gathered more than 500,000 responses, the heartbroken mother wrote to friends and family: “WASH YOUR HANDS. DO NOT KISS BABIES,”  which she included with photos of her late child.

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“There’s not a moment goes by that I don’t think about her. She’s in my thoughts every day,” Friend said about missing her baby.

Although the doctors have informed Friend that her daughter became unwell from either a kiss or after being touched by unwashed, contaminated hands, there is no way of telling who exactly passed the virus on to the baby.


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