Rugby star Matt Dawson suffered 'two weeks of hell' as his toddler battled Meningitis B

He shared the photos on Twitter to raise awareness...

Retired England rugby player Matt Dawson has revealed his family's agonising 'two weeks of hell' as his son was treated for Meningitis B (opens in new tab).

The 43 year old took to his Twitter account to share his toddler's battle with the deadly disease, including shocking pictures of him in a hospital bed.

Former London Wasps player Matt revealed his youngest son, Sam, was treated for Meningitis B at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Matt and wife Carolin

Matt said he had been 'umming and ahhing' about posting the pictures online but he and his wife, Carolin Hauskeller, who he married in 2011, decided it was important to raise awareness.

The Question of Sport presenter tweeted to his 250k followers on Wednesday evening; 'I must also heap praise on Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for their superb A&E and recognition of Sami's disease. We're indebted.'

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The father-of-two decided to speak out after a petition (opens in new tab) calling for all children, not just newborn babies, to be vaccinated has gained over 400,000 signatures.

'I ask one favour. Please read and sign so fewer kids suffer', Matt added.

Do you know the symptoms of meningitis to look out for? (opens in new tab)

Currently the NHS provides vaccinations for babies born after 1st July 2015 in three stages – two months, four months and 12 months. Those who wish to protect older children have to pay up to £450 per child.

The petition began when two-year-old Faye Burdett (opens in new tab) from Maidstone, Kent, died on Valentine's Day after an 11-day battle with the disease.

Faye's parents had taken her to the local A&E department after noticing a rash on her forehead. She was transferred to the children's ward at King's College Hospital.

Mum Jenny, 36, a beauty therapist, said; 'We were given a 1% survival rate but she proved them wrong and carried on fighting, after a few days she seemed to have turned a corner but the sepsis started to effect her more.'

Friends and family began the government petition (opens in new tab) and it has gathered momentum on Facebook this week, now reach 456,000 signatures.