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IOWA CITY, Iowa  —  A West Des Moines infant has passed away 10 days after being hospitalized after coming in contact with someone with a cold sore.

“Our princess Mariana Reese Sifrit gained her angel wings at 8:41 am this morning in her daddy’s arms and her mommy right beside her,” Nicole Sifrit posted on her Facebook page Tuesday morning, “in her 18 days of life she made a huge impact on the world and we hope with Mariana’s Story we save numerous newborns life.”

Mariana was born a health baby girl on July 1st.  Six days later her parents left their wedding early to take her to Blank Children’s Hospital when she stopped eating and couldn’t wake up.  Doctors told Nicole and her husband, Shane, that Mariana had contracted Meningitis HSV1.  It’s likely someone with a cold sore touched Mariana who then touched her mouth, spreading the virus.

“I always thought this stuff happens and it’s a shame and never thought it would happen to me,” Nicole told us last week, “I was not prepared at all.  Keep your babies isolated.  Don’t let just anyone come visit them.   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.”

Fundraising contributions for unexpected medical expenses can be sent to an online website available here: