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Isaac’s story

17th March 2017

Seventeen-month-old Isacc was lethargic with a very high temperature so his mum, Charli Napier, of Rochester, sought medical help

Isaac’s story

After being told it was a virus, Charlie was still unhappy with his condition she took him to A & E for a second time, and to see her GP however they are sent home with the same diagnosis.

It was not until her next visit that they were transferred to the children's ward where Isaac was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Charli recalls their story.

“Isaac became unwell in May 2013 when he was 17 months old. He had a really high temperature and was so lethargic that he mainly slept. There was no rash, so we didn’t assume meningitis, although we were really worried about his temperature.

“We went to the out-of-hours clinic, but they said it was a virus. The GP said the same thing the next day. His condition deteriorated and he would only settle if he was asleep in our arms. He would eat nothing and drank a little water and milk. If he woke he would be fretful and so we would rock him back to sleep.

“We made two trips to A&E over the next two days but they sent us home again as they thought it was a virus, but we knew if wasn't. You see, ultimately, you know your child better than anyone else and he had completely transformed from a happy little baby to one who was in discomfort and pain.

They didn’t know what was wrong with him

“We were so worried but trying to trust the doctors. My mum, who is a nurse practitioner, came over and agreed that enough was enough. She did not think it was meningitis, but she knew it was "something".

“She and my husband took Isaac to the GP again and, thankfully, he was transferred to the hospital. I got the call at work to get to hospital.

“I cried and prayed the whole way to the hospital, fearing he was not going to be alive when I got there. He was, but they did not know what was wrong with him. He and I spent a fitful night in a ward. It was awful.

It was utterly terrifying

“The next morning an amazing consultant (to whom we are forever indebted) came to do the rounds and requested a lumbar puncture. Only at this point did someone suspect meningitis. We were so lucky as there had been no rash.

“Isaac was treated with antibiotics and we were in a separate room. It was utterly terrifying. He looked so very unwell: a shadow of his former self - completely vulnerable.

“I remember crying with the consultant telling her that I had failed him because, as his mother, it was my job to protect him.

“One night his temperature spiked and at 2am they tried to get blood from him, but he was too ill and he was screaming. That was the worst night as it looked as though the medication was not working.

The worst two weeks of my life

“The next morning Isaac seemed better. He sat up and started playing with the toys in the cot. It was so beautiful. When his big sister visited him they played with a Duplo tiger and cart together and I knew he was going to be okay.

“Hundreds of friends and family had rooted for him. It was the worst two weeks of my life, but it has changed us forever in that nothing is taken for granted.

“After we left hospital, Isaac suffered with headaches and tantrums. Nobody told us this might happen. I contacted Meningitis Now and a lovely woman in the phone talked me through this.”