“My son Jacob contracted bacterial meningitis when he was three months old.
“I was trying to get him to sleep at bedtime and he was inconsolable and not feeding whatsoever. I thought he had colic at the time. After about five hours of crying and not settling my husband called NHS 111. They advised us to take him straight to A& E because of his symptoms, which included a high temperature, irritability and shaking."
“When I got to A& E I was taken aback when the doctor said it looked like meningitis. She pointed out his soft spot had gone hard which is also another symptom. I was not aware of this.
“He was admitted straight to the ward and they did a lumbar puncture where they could get fluid out of the spine and grow some cultures in the laboratory to be sure. They recommended he started on antibiotics straight away. He had trouble keeping his temperature down but did well in hospital.
“A few days later the doctor came to see me and told me Jacob had bacterial meningitis and his brain had swollen and the fluid round his brain and spine was infected. I could not believe what I was hearing and was beside myself as I was worried he would die or have lifelong disabilities.
“They would have to see how he would respond to treatment, but they thought it had been caught early so everything looked positive. Two weeks in hospital on antibiotics and we were able to take Jacob home.
“He was tested for a year afterwards as they were concerned that he might lose his hearing. But a year later Jacob has made a full recovery and earned the nickname Mr Muscle from the nurses. He is a lucky little man. The doctors said if we had left him until the morning he probably would have died, but thanks to great work by the NHS he is here.”