Holly Willoughby was forced to leave the This Morning sofa in tears after hearing from a woman who lost her baby boy to sepsis. Talking to Melissa Mead on Thursday's show, Holly couldn't help shed tears and was seen wiping her eyes and getting up from the sofa just before the commercial break. Clearly overcome with emotion, she apologised, finding it difficult to deliver her lines. Her co-host Phillip Schofield stepped in, saying: "It's alright, I'll do it."
The pair had been talking to Melissa about her son William, who died just days after his first birthday. Melissa had taken her little boy to the GP after he had been under the weather. The doctor said it was "nothing grisly" and that William would be better within 48 hours. Sadly, the baby boy's condition worsened and his mum called the emergency doctors, only to be told that it was "probably a viral infection and would get better".
Holly Willoughby welled up after hearing Melissa's story
William, or Grumpus as he was nicknamed by his parents, died on Sunday 14 December 2014. Writing in her blog about grief and bereavement, Melissa recalled: "I opened his bedroom door slowly so as not to wake him up with a startle. It was dark, I could see him but could not really make his features out. I stroked his cheek it was warm but he didn't stir. I knelt down and put my arm through the cot bars and stroked his arm, it was cold, I stood, and stroked his side, he was stiff.
"I opened the curtains as quickly as I could, I took one step to the cot, and I knew he was gone. We gave William CPR until the paramedics arrived in 3 minutes and 55 seconds when they took over, but there was nothing they could do. My beautiful boy, the love of my life was gone."
During her appearance on This Morning, Melissa shared her story to raise awareness about sepsis and the symptoms parents should look out for. She brought along the teddy bear that contains her son's ashes. A tearful Holly said she "couldn't imagine" being in that situation. "You and William will save so many lives," added Phillip.
There was an inquest into William's death in June 2015, where questions were raised about why no tests, X-rays and saliva samples were done. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt issued a public apology, saying the NHS had let William's parents down "in the worst possible way through serious failings".