Sarah Allen is a mum to two young children, and runs a nursery in her home town of Cambridge, so she would say she's seen her fair share of chicken pox. However, when her son Jasper contracted the illness his symptoms surpassed anything she had seen before.
Sarah told The Guardian, 'We couldn't hold him for three days because he screamed every time we touched him' as her son was covered in hundreds of severely infected scabs.
Sarah initially tried to contact her GP to get treatment for Jasper, knowing that his case was a lot worse than average chicken pox. But the mum was turned away, being told by the receptionist that she was exaggerating her son's case.
'When I first called our local GP's surgery, I spoke to the receptionist to make an appointment for Jasper, but when I told her it was chickenpox, she said to me, "Every mother thinks their child has bad chickenpox".
'I knew I wasn't being a neurotic mother. I have two children and have run a nursery and seen hundreds of kids with chickenpox before, so I knew this wasn't normal.'
Jasper was eventually admitted to hospital after Sarah followed her instincts and took him into A&E, where doctors recognised that something was seriously wrong. He stayed for five days at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and in that time was treated with an IV drip, morphine, antibiotics, antiviral drugs as well as heart scans to check any long-term damage.
Sarah recalls, 'When Jasper was admitted to hospital, it was scary, but I was also relieved I was actually being taken seriously and that they were doing something about it'.
Currently the chicken pox vaccination is given out sparingly, only to children with specific conditions or weakened immune systems, but Sarah wants that to change. She is calling for chicken pox to be part of the government's childhood vaccination programme and has set up a petition which currently holds 2,500 signatures.