“Freddie was 19-months-old when he contracted Group A Step meningitis and encephalitis.
“The 21st April 2016 started off like any other morning except Freddie was poorly. It was the second day of what we thought was a virus and he had been up most of the night vomiting.
“Freddie had been checked at the GP’s twice on the days before and at the hospital once. All his vital signs presented normally and there was no sign of a rash. It was my own gut instinct that told me there was something untoward going on with him and when I saw him fall asleep with his eyes open on the couch. I made a decision this couldn't go on.
Admitted to hospital
“Freddie was admitted to hospital with dehydration as he still wasn't showing signs it was anything else other than a virus.
“His pupil blew, he became unresponsive and an MRI scan confirmed he had a severe amount of fluid on his brain, secondary to meningitis. He also had a raised infection marker of close to 600, which any health professional will know is exceptionally high.
“Freddie still had no rash. I always associated a rash with meningitis. How wrong was I.
“He was transferred to the amazing Alder Hey, where he received neuro surgery within the hour and received the rest of his antibiotic treatment. We were told he may not make the journey but our boy was a fighter.
Many hurdles along the way
“We had many hurdles along the way. We passed danger zone, then we developed seizures. We got them under control and then, when he finally woke up, he had lost his sight.
“This little boy had one hell of a journey but he refused to give up. He taught himself to walk again, regained most of his sight within four months. (He has a cerebral visual impairment now). He has none of the developmental issues that we were told to prepare ourselves for – he's just a fighter and he won. Freddie 1 Meningitis 0.
“He has just received his school place for September where his big sister Lydia is and is very lucky and excited to start. Thank you Ormskirk Hospital and Alder Hey. He would not be here without you.
“The main reason I have written this is that most associate a rash with meningitis. Freddie didn't have one. If you ever doubt there is something more going on with your child, always act on it. It may just save their life.”