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Connie H's story

4th November 2021

Michelle’s 10-year-old daughter Connie was diagnosed with a viral infection but continued to get worse, even having hallucinations. Eventually Michelle, from Bolton on Dearne in South Yorkshire, insisted on further checks and a lumbar puncture confirmed bacterial meningitis

Connie H's story

Despite some ongoing after-effects Connie, seen here with her dog Ozzy, has gone on to make a good recovery, as Michelle tells us.

“Connie’s illness started when she woke up with a headache and a stiff neck. She started to be constantly sick and had a high temperature.

“I contacted the doctor, who advised it was a viral infection and to do the usual – give her plenty of fluids and paracetamol. Connie’s health deteriorated over the next two weeks. Connie also became disoriented and confused, even having hallucinations at one point.

“I took Connie to A&E and was asked if she had a rash, which is the common symptom of meningitis, but she had no rash at all throughout her illness. Connie was sent home from A&E saying it was a viral infection.

Could not stand

“Connie got to the point where she could not stand due to pain in her legs, her temperature was up to 42 and she was becoming unresponsive. I called an ambulance, where I was told once again that it must be viral and the hospital wouldn’t be able to do much, but they would take her to hospital if I wanted.

“Of course, I said I wanted to go in as my concern was increasing every day and Connie was getting worse. Even in A&E on this visit the nurse said it was viral yet again, but at this point as a parent I knew something was not right and was not going to be told it was viral anymore. I insisted she had a proper check.

“They took some blood samples and went away but within a short time they came back and fitted a cannula. Connie was taken to the children’s ward and put in a room on her own. Throughout that night a doctor came to tell us that they suspected it could be meningitis.

Cloudy spinal fluid

“The following day Connie had a lumbar puncture which confirmed she had bacterial meningitis. They could apparently confirm this with the colour of the spinal fluid, which was cloudy. Connie was immediately put on medication.

“The same day as Connie had her lumbar puncture she lost her hearing completely.

“Connie was in hospital for a week and was allowed to come home but attended hospital every day for the next two weeks to go for her medication.

Struggle to hear

“Although Connie has made a full recovery and her hearing has since improved, she does struggle to hear in certain situations and she still has a slight hearing loss.

“It was such an awful time full of worry and the unknown. We feel very blessed that Connie has recovered like she has.

“I would just like to share our experience as I believe if I had not persisted with the nurses and doctors then we could have had a totally different outcome."