(USA TODAY) - An Iowa mother is warning other parents about a serious, life-threatening virus that has her baby girl fighting for her life.
A week after Nicole Sifrit gave birth to baby Mariana, she and husband Shane noticed she stopped eating and didn't respond when they tried to wake her, WHO TV reports.
"It immediately went downhill from there. Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail," Shane told WHO TV.
July 7, doctors diagnosed Mariana with viral meningitis caused by the herpes virus, which is spread through close contact. While all of this was happening, Nicole and Shane were marrying — the couple actually left their wedding early to take their daughter to a Des Moines hospital. Because Mariana's condition was so serious, she was then life-flighted to Iowa City to the University of Iowa Hospital, where she was put on life support, Nicole told WHO TV.
Nicole and Shane both tested negative for the virus, CNN reports, meaning the newborn likely contracted it from a visitor. The virus can be transmitted through someone who has the cold sore virus.
"I always thought this stuff happens and it's a shame and never thought it would happen to me," Shane told WHO TV. "I was not prepared at all."
Mariana wasn't expected to survive 24 hours past her diagnosis, Nicole said on Facebook. She's on medicine to control seizures, kidney dialysis and the vessels around her heart were leaking oxygen, one post said. Monday, Nicole posted a heartbreaking update.
"My heart is crushed, my baby is declining fast," Nicole wrote. "She has no brain activity and her lungs and heart are failing along with her kidneys and liver. They are running out of options for her."
Nicole is warning other parents to keep visitors away. She doesn't want other babies to suffer like Mariana.
"Don't let anyone kiss your baby," she said.
A GoFundMe was set up for the family to help with medical expenses.