New parents Nicole and Shane Sifrit are speaking out to warn other parents of a life-threatening disease that has their 3-week-old daughter on life support.

On July 1, the newlyweds from Iowa welcomed their baby daughter Mariana into the world. A week later, just two hours after they had gotten married, they noticed that the little girl wasn't eating and wouldn't respond when they tried to wake her up.

"It immediately went downhill from there. Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail," Shane told local news station WHO TV.


The couple left their wedding early to take Mariana to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, where she was diagnosed with a life-threatening virus called Meningitis HSV1, which is caused by the same virus that creates cold sores. According to WHO TV, Mariana was then life-flighted to the University of Iowa Hospital, where she was put on life support.

Update on Princess Mariana: first of all from the bottom of my heart I can't thank everyone enough for the outpouring...

Posted by Nicole Sifrit on Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician at Calabasas Pediatrics in California, explained to CNN that "viral meningitis is transmitted through close casual contact. However, she caught the virus and then developed meningitis. ... It is very common to catch the virus, but very rarely does it develop into meningitis."


"The first two months after a child is born are very critical, as a virus can rapidly spread and cause serious illness in newborns," Altmann continued.

Nicole and Shane both tested negative for the virus, meaning Mariana must have contracted it from a visitor.

Posted by Nicole Sifrit on Monday, July 10, 2017

Nicole hopes her family's story will be able to help others avoid the same thing happening to theirs.

"Keep your babies isolated. Don't let just anyone come visit them," she told WHO TV. "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."


On Tuesday, Nicole shared a heartbreaking update to her Facebook page, announcing that Mariana had passed away.

♡ Our princess Mariana Reese Sifrit gained her angel wings at 8:41 am this morning in her daddy's arms and her mommy...

Posted by Nicole Sifrit on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Our hearts go out to Nicole and Shane. Rest in peace, Mariana. :(