‘We didn’t know what it was’: Parents say daughter’s meningitis death was surprising, quick

‘We didn’t know what it was’: Parents say daughter’s meningitis death was surprising, quick
Abbigayle Dipietro started coughing on Monday. By Wednesday, she was dead. (Source: WSBT/)

MIDDLEBURY, IN (WSBT/CNN) - A fourth grader in Indiana has died from bacterial meningitis.

Now her parents are speaking out.

They want others to get educated on the infection.

"It’s been hard on everybody in the family,” said Richard Anderson, the father of Abbigayle Dipietro. “It’s just hard to lose a child at the age of 10.”

Her mother Tasha Dipietro-Anderson said it started with an ear infection last weekend and quickly escalated.

“ It was fine Sunday and then Monday she started vomiting all day and at about 6 o’clock Monday she went into a seizure,” Dipietro-Anderson said. “They had to explain to us what it was because, I didn’t, we didn’t know what it was.”

Two days later, she passed away.

Bacterial meningitis is a deadly disease, but Dipierto-Anderson says Abby's case wasn't contagious.

“You know, I would have had my boys tested. If that were the case, but it’s not, what she had isn’t contagious.” she said. “I guess they said it’s one of the most rare meningitis there is.”

They want other parents to keep their eyes open in case their children experience similar symptoms such as headaches, fevers, vomiting, ear infections or a stiff neck.

“I mean even if you just take five minutes to kind of look into what the symptoms are of different meningitis, just to kind of educate yourself a little bit so that when your child has any of those symptoms, you know you push to have something done,” Dipietro-Anderson said.

The one bright spot, a Facebook fundraiser was started asking for $1,200 to help pay for Abby’s medical expenses.

In three days nearly $12,000 was raised.

“I’m glad. It’s helping cover everything, all the medical costs, funeral in general and everything like that,” Dipietro-Anderson said.

“I'm really surprised. Glad they came out to help.”

Abby’s memorial is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Copyright 2019 WSBT via CNN. All rights reserved.