Jason Watkins has told of his grief after losing his two-year-old daughter to sepsis, saying it has had a “cataclysmic effect” on the family.
The Crown actor’s daughter Maude passed away on New Year's Day 2011.
Speaking on Loose Women, Watkins said Maude seemed to have "flu or a heavy cold” and was diagnosed with a chest infection. Sepsis was not picked up despite visits to the hospital.
Read more: Jason Watkins to star in detective drama
Then on January 1, 2011, his other daughter came in to his and his wife Clara’s room in the morning and told them: “I can't wake Maude.”
"She had died on the morning of New Year,” said Watkins, 52.
“It's almost Dickensian in a way, that in modern medicine that could happen.”
Actor @Jason__Watkins shares his emotional story of tragically losing his daughter Maude, at the age of two-and-a-half to sepsis, ahead of World Sepsis Day.— Loose Women (@loosewomen) September 12, 2019
We have helplines available here > https://t.co/ndX4beryC5 pic.twitter.com/4rpXfkJ0D0
"It's had a cataclysmic effect on our family,” added the actor, who is known for his roles in Being Human, Trolled and W1A.
Watkins said losing a child was like being “a very dark pit that you feel you can’t get out of”.
Describing his struggle to cope since his daughter’s death, he said: “We were in the park the other day and I saw a child that looked exactly like Maude.
"My wife Clara was approaching and me and Dennis, my father in law, we said, 'Oh let's go and do something else.'
“It's incredibly painful."
Read more: Gillian Anderson confirmed for The Crown
He told Loose Women viewers: "What sepsis does is it lurks underneath presenting symptoms.
“So the presenting systems with Maude were breathing difficulties and a chest infection.
Thank you so much @loosewomen - for being so welcoming and giving such a sensitive platform, to be able to share our Maude with so many. And to be able to share the signs of #sepsis @UKSepsisTrust @cbukhelp @slowsupport @clarabetsy https://t.co/gGur5y8SH7— Jason Watkins (@Jason__Watkins) September 12, 2019
“The sepsis starts to overact against the immune system and it keeps going and it’s undetected.”
The actor is now trying to raise awareness of the condition, and is an ambassador for the UK Sepsis Trust and a patron of Child Bereavement UK.
“There is satisfaction in helping other people,” he said.
“With Child Bereavement it’s a way of saying, you are not alone, people have been through what you’ve been through.”