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Coby’s Story

28th April 2015

Fourteen-month-old Coby Knighton’s chance of survival was 50:50 as he spent six days in an induced coma.

Coby’s story

His grandmother Katrina Claydon, recalls the horrifying moment when Coby was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia.

“My daughter Michaela first took Coby, my grandson, to the GP surgery on 27th March 2015. He had a high temperature, was extremely sleepy and wouldn’t wake. He also had the distinctive septicaemia rash. The GP advised Michaela that it was just a viral infection and she should take him back in two days’ time.

On this instruction, Michaela took Coby home, but when she bathed him she noticed that the rash had spread and immediately phoned for an ambulance.

Coby was taken to Barnsley hospital where they drilled a hole into his leg to keep his fluids up and give him medication. Within a couple of hours we were told the devastating news that he had meningococcal septicaemia. Then the waiting game began.

We remained at Barnsley until he was stable enough to be transported to Sheffield's Children’s Hospital. Coby was put in a medically induced coma. At this point we were told he had a 50% survival rate as he was an extremely poorly little boy. Hour by hour, the family sat at his bedside while he was given drugs to keep him alive.“

An unexpected turn

“Every day we had a little good news. His heart was working properly again and the infection was going, so, on day six, they decided to wake him up. It was at this point that he had several fits.

Coby was immediately taken for a CT scan on his brain which showed abnormal changes. He was taken off ICU and moved to the Neurosciences ward where he was given an MRI brain scan. This identified that he had acquired minimal brain damage.”

The future

“Coby was discharged from hospital just three weeks and three days after contracting meningococcal septicaemia. We don’t know how the damage to his brain will affect him in the future and won’t know any more until he reaches school age.

He is now 15-months-old and is back home and doing really well. He has got sores that need re-dressing every three days and has a cannula so my daughter can give him medicine to dissolve the blood clot in his leg. She also has to take him for regular check-ups at the hospital.

Coby’s mum and dad are both quite young but they have dealt with this amazingly well. Coby’s dad joined the British Army in October last year but the Army got him home on the 27th March until 12th April when he had to be back at camp. They never left Coby’s bedside only to eat, shower and change."