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Casey's story

10th December 2019

Nicola had an instinct that her baby daughter Casey was seriously ill, despite her only symptom being a high temperature. Luckily for her she acted on it immediately and Casey was later found to have contracted meningitis

Casey's story

Her swift action bought swift treatment for Casey, who is now thriving, as Nicola, from Newbury in Berkshire, tells us here

“I put my 7.5-week-old baby daughter Casey-Marie down for a nap on Thursday 1 August 2019. She woke up a few hours later and was hot to touch. I wasn’t happy at all and had an instinct something was wrong. I phoned the doctor and arranged an appointment to get her seen.

“My husband Stephen took Casey to the doctor while I stayed at home with our other four children. My husband phoned me after the appointment had finished and told me the doctor said that she wasn’t concerned, but as Casey had a high temperature and was so young she wanted us to take her to A&E.

“After arriving at A&E and having the first assessment done it wasn’t long before we were in another room, where the doctor wanted to do a blood test, urine sample (which isn’t easy with any child let alone a 7.5-week-old baby) and a lumbar puncture. I couldn’t be in the room for this but her dad was with her.

Giving her cuddles

“While they were doing the lumbar puncture I found myself looking and reading the posters on the wall and one of them just had to be about septicaemia. Finally, after what felt like forever, I was finally back in the room with Casey giving her cuddles.

“I stayed the night in hospital with Casey, just so they could keep an eye on her and her observations. I was woken up in the early hours of 2 August with the results from the lumbar puncture - it came back as meningitis and her white blood count was over 700, but they weren’t sure if it was viral or bacterial at the time, so she had to be treated for both right away.

“I remember questioning it. Surely it couldn’t be meningitis? Casey only had a high temperature. I remember phoning my husband and letting him know as soon as the doctor left the room. At that stage I don’t think my husband knew what meningitis was or how serious it could be, but I definitely did.

How and why did it happen?

“I remember looking at my tiny baby girl hooked up to the machine and thinking how and why did it happen and that I must have done something wrong.

“Fast forward a couple of days and we’re still in hospital, with me not leaving her side. I kept breaking down and questioning why, and hugging my baby girl tight. We got the news that it was bacterial meningitis. My heart sank and I burst into tears at this point - I’ve never been so scared of nearly losing another baby as I’ve been told that if I hadn’t got her to hospital when I did she wouldn’t be here any more.

“We were discharged from hospital after a week and had to keep coming back and forth for a week for antibiotics. Casey will be six months old next month and is absolutely thriving. She passed her hearing test too.

“I have to say I’m terrified of Casey getting ill again and I do find myself just touching her head while she’s asleep just to make sure she feels okay.

“Never believe that all the symptoms of meningitis will appear because all Casey had was a high temperature. She never even started to get any other symptoms.”