Nicole Sifrit and her new husband Shane welcomed a healthy baby girl, who they named Mariana, on the 1st of July, and had arranged their own wedding for the following week. But after realising there was something seriously wrong with their new daughter, the couple were forced to leave their own wedding early in order to seek medical help.
'We noticed she stopped eating and wasn't waking up when we were trying to get her to respond,' Shane told a local news station in his native Iowa.
After taking the baby girl to a neonatal intensive care unit, further tests on the parents revealed that neither of them carried the virus – leading doctors to speculate the virus was transmitted through simple body contact or a kiss with an adult who carried the cold sore virus.
Nicole explained: 'They touch her, and then she touches her mouth with her hand. That's why doctors say diseases spread quickly in babies.'
As soon as Mariana arrived in hospital, her parents said, her condition worsened.
'Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail. She is currently on life support to help her by right now,' Nicole continued.
Dad Shane added: 'She has a kidney team, a liver team, a blood team, a neurology team. I always thought this stuff happens, and it's a shame and never thought it would happen to me and was not prepared at all.'
Sadly, doctors are now having to keep Mariana in hospital to recover, and say that because of the damage the virus has already caused, she is likely to suffer from long term health complications.
'Keep your babies isolated,' a devastated Nicole warns other parents. 'Don't let just anyone come visit them, and make sure they are constantly washing their hands. Don't let people kiss your baby, and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby.'
This isn't the first time reports of babies falling seriously ill after coming into contact with carriers of meningitis virus have provided a stark warning for new parents – back in 2015, a mum's post went viral on Facebook after she 'spotted the signs early' and was able to get her baby to A&E for treatment.
'Please share this with every new mum and pregnant woman you know...' she said at the time. 'Everyone who I have spoken to had not heard of this before and so I felt it was important to share [her baby] Brooke's story and raise awareness to stop anyone else going through what we have this week.'