Auckland bride dies just hours after wedding

  • 12/12/2017

The husband of a woman who died just hours after her wedding ceremony has told Newshub that her sudden death was a huge shock. 

Twenty-six year-old Jamieka McCarthy Harford woke up on Saturday ready to get married in the wedding of her dreams on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. She fell ill during the ceremony and later died of meningococcal disease. 

Her husband told Newshub: "Her passing was a huge shock to everybody, to lose her so quickly and this has been incredibly difficult to process. She was taken from us without notice by a horrible, deadly disease." 

Photos from the day show the smiling bride in a flowing white dress and long veil, walking down an aisle on the golf course, surrounded by her family. 

"Jamieka was so happy to be married and the wedding was a beautiful, happy occasion, surrounded by love," the family said in a statement. 

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service confirmed the case, saying they were "investigating a death that fits the case definition of meningococcal disease, working directly with close contacts of the deceased to prevent further transmission of the disease. There is no risk to other members of the public." 

Hundreds of friends and family expressed their shock and condolences on social media. 

Her family described Jamieka as "the most kind-hearted person in the world, who loved life, and she always put others before herself. She was a beloved wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. She will be missed forever." 

The family has asked for privacy and say they do not intend to set up a Givealittle page, but say if someone wishes to do this, they are able to. 

The ARPHS says there are 28 cases of meningococcal disease in Auckland each year. 

Symptoms to watch for include some or all of the following - fever, headache, vomiting, feeling sleepy/confused/delirious, loss of consciousness, joint pains, aching muscles, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, rash, purple or red spots or bruises.

Additional symptoms in babies and infants include being unsettled, floppy or irritable, refusing drinks/feeds and becoming harder to wake. 

It is caused by bacteria spread by very close contact or many hours of prolonged contact with an infected person. If you suspect meningococcal disease, visit your doctor immediately or call Healthline for advice.