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My daughter died in halls, I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else

Victoria Hills died in her uni halls of a disease she had no idea she had


Victoria Hills had been a music student at Bournemouth University for just a few months before she became ill.

She thought she had the flu – but she had actually contracted Lemierre's Syndrome, and passed away eight months ago.

As the 20-year-old's condition worsened over the week before she died, she told her mother that she may have food poisoning, not knowing the symptoms she was experiencing were subject to a disease she was completely unaware of.

Most of her flatmates had gone home for the weekend, meaning Vicky wasn't found until more than a day after she had passed away.

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Victoria visiting Bournemouth before she started uni

Symptoms of the disease include a sore throat, muscle weakness, tiredness and fever – many students may mistake this for the so-called "freshers' flu".

Victoria was found in her university halls flat in Cranborne House in the early hours of February 6th.

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Tracey said this was of Victoria's favourite pictures, and that she loved Ellie (the dog pictured) so much

Victoria's mother, Tracey Hills, is now raising awareness of the rare bacterial infection, and is aiming her plea at students.

As a tribute to her daughter's 21st birthday, which would have been last week, she shared a Facebook post encouraging people to share Victoria's story, with a mission to "save a life".

Tracey Hills told The Bournemouth Tab: "Students living in halls are particularly vulnerable because they are on different schedules to their flatmates and so people don't even notice who is around and who isn't, and that's why Victoria was there alone in her room and no-one knew.

"What Victoria had was rare, but it is starting to appear again and late teens and early twenties is the age it is mostly seen at. There are other things which need urgent medical attention, such as meningitis or sepsis, which are much more common.

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Victoria and her mother exploring Bournemouth in the summer before she decided to joined the university

The bacterial infection causes abscesses in the organs, which can lead to the person having difficulty breathing and can cause liver failure, and in the worst cases – death.

Victoria's mum wants to warn students with infections they should not put off going to see a doctor.

Tracey said: "I don't care how cross you think they'll be if you call an ambulance, it is better they are alive than to be cross.

"I know Victoria's friends will never be quite the same again, and they will always carry what happened with them, and I feel that I need to look after them because Victoria isn't here to do it herself."

If you want to get in touch with Bournemouth University doctors the number is 01202 965378. They are located just behind Fusion building, next to Student Village if you want to go in to make an appointment.