“Meningitis Now’s support helped me not to feel alone in my living nightmare.”
“Alayna was born five weeks early via emergency cesarean in November 2022. At first, she was fine and feeding well but over the next few days something just felt off.
“She seemed to be cold constantly. She did nothing but sleep and was difficult to wake. Then once awake she was difficult to keep awake, resulting in poor feeding and continuous weight loss.
“These symptoms were put down to the fact that Alayna was premature, but things just got worse and at just 10-days-old Alayna had a seizure at home and had to be taken to hospital via ambulance.
“On arrival to our local hospital she deteriorated drastically resulting in the crash team rushing her to the high dependency unit.
“From there Alayna was put onto a CPAP machine. She was having frequent seizures and breathing apneas.
“Alayna was taken for a CT scan and chest Xray and several other tests but she continued to deteriorate despite being on the highest form or treatment our hospital could offer.
“She then had to be intubated and rushed to Alder Hey Children's Hospital intensive care unit. Here she continued to have several tests including alumbar puncture which confirmed any parents' worst nightmare. Alayna had meningitis and sepsis.
“Alayna spent five days in intensive care having treatment and then three days on the children’s ward having further tests.
“After finally being discharged in time for Christmas with medication to take at home Alayna had several follow up appointments as well as an MRI, EEG and a pediatric assessment.
“To our amazement she has made a full recovery with no permanent after-effects.
“From being prepared to say goodbye to our tiny baby, to now having a happy healthy baby girl eagerly awaiting her first birthday, is still amazing to us and we couldn’t be more thankful.
“Raising awareness of meningitis is really important to me as a mum of four. I was completely oblivious to the signs of meningitis in a newborn.
“Alayna had no rash and no temperature. I feel it is so important to make everyone aware of all of the different signs and symptoms of the disease.
“We were told that if we hadn’t gotten Alayna to the hospital when we did it would likely have been a fatality.
“I thank my lucky stars my precious girl showed us that something was seriously wrong because otherwise our lives would be very different now. I will cherish her forever and continue to raise awareness.”