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Hollie's story

22nd April 2018

Jenny’s 18-day-old baby daughter Hollie had a high temperature and couldn’t keep her milk down. Doctors sent her straight to hospital where tests confirmed viral meningitis. Hollie made a good recovery and is now a healthy 3-year-old. Jenny, from Hanley in Staffordshire, recounts their experience here

Hollie's story

“On 1 October Hollie was a bit off-colour in the evening, crying when I lifted her legs to change her bottom and generally not herself. I just thought she had a bit of tummy ache.

“She settled off for the night okay but in the early hours she woke up crying. When I picked her up she was burning up. I tried to give her a feed but she wasn't interested.

“She settled off back to sleep on me in my bed. We woke up around 7:30ish and I tried to feed her. Again, she had a few sips but then she started to be sick and she was throwing up more than she had taken.

Just 18 days old

“I rang the doctors as soon as they opened and they told me to take her in at 10:30. I expressed my concern at her being just 18 days old, with a high temp and couldn't stop being sick, so they told me to go straight down.

“When I arrived I went straight in and the doctor examined her and rang A&E, asking for them to see her and if I needed an ambulance to take me. I thought Hollie just had a tummy bug so said I would drive to the hospital.

“As soon as I arrived at A&E they were waiting for me and took Hollie out of my arms, stripped her off and started doing obs on her. They said they would treat for it being the worst case of meningitis and then said to me they needed to do a lumbar puncture and would take her to another cubicle, as it would be distressing for me to watch.

All a bit shocked

“I was all a bit shocked and rang my husband to tell him what was happening. He could hear Hollie screaming in the background from the lumbar puncture.

“They brought Hollie back to me and told me they were going to admit her and wait for the results and started her on antibiotics.

“I was taken straight onto a ward in a side room and within an hour a lovely lady doctor came to see me to say the results were back and it was confirmed that Hollie had meningitis. They didn't know which form it was and wouldn't for a few days.

“Those words will haunt me forever. I just sat crying, cradling my baby girl constantly and checking for a rash.

Fight it herself

“We spent about four days in hospital as after three days the results came back as viral meningitis. The doctors said she just had to fight it herself.

“Hollie had to have a hearing test a few months later to check her hearing hadn't been affected by her viral meningitis and I'm proud to say she is now one very healthy and beautiful 3-year-old.

“I didn't know anything about viral meningitis before but I'm constantly checking now when any of my children are poorly and I'm very cautious when any of my family or friends are ill.

“I lost one of my friends aged 15 to bacterial meningitis in 1992 - that was the first time I had heard of meningitis.”