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Victim in campaign to tackle MRSA

A leukaemia sufferer who nearly died from MRSA has created a cartoon character as part of a "personal crusade" to help tackle infection rates.

Businessman Ashley Brooks contracted the superbug in 2002 at Southend Hospital, Essex, but after returning to full health, vowed to help eradicate the infection.

Now the 42-year-old print works manager has put £400,000 of his own money into designing a DVD and awareness campaign entitled The Max Guide to Hygiene.

The Department of Health has invested a further £100,000 for a 10-week evaluation of the project at Southampton General Hospital, Hants.

The project has been launched by Mr Brooks, Ann Keen, Parliamentary under-secretary of state for health services and retired footballer Matt Le Tissier.

The campaign features the character Max reminding staff and the public to wash their hands. A booklet is being distributed to 173 NHS trusts across the country.

Mr Brooks, a father of two from Hadleigh, Essex, said: "I'm delighted the Department of Health are giving Max an official trial. If my work saves just one life then it will all have been worthwhile."

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