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Jacob M's story

6th December 2017

Jacob was just 12 days old when he became ill after contracting viral meningitis. His mum Becky from Dronfield in Derbyshire, shares their story

Jacob M's story

"On 7 June it was my birthday, and my baby boy was 12 days old at this point. He seemed fine, just a bit more sleepy than usual.

He was feeding well and seemed ok in himself.

"The next day, Jacob had a temperature. It was a Sunday so I was going to wait for the morning and get him booked into the doctors. I knew that I couldn't give him Calpol as he was too young, so I just stripped him down to a vest and kept an eye on him.

"He wouldn't wake up for feeds - I had to wake him to ensure he was having some milk. When he cried between feeds, it was more of a high pitched squeal rather than a new baby cry.

"Instead of putting him down to sleep in the Moses basket, we decided to lay him on the settee by us so we could keep an eye on him.

"At about 11pm, he started to have a seizure. I didn't believe it was a seizure at first as it was so scary. When he came around he was upset, but still not crying as he usually would. So we called 111.

During the call he had another seizure

"After an hours wait, the doctor from 111 called us back and told us to make our way to an out of hours GP, 20 minutes from home. As I thought it was just a virus, I didn't take him to A&E straight away. Now, looking back, I can’t believe I missed this and waited around for so long.

"Before we left, we had to wake my parents up to drop our two year old off. By this time it was 1am.

"At the out of hours GP, Jacob had another two seizures and his temperature had risen further. The doctor sent us straight to hospital and we got him booked into the children's ward. This avoided the A&E waiting times.

"We were taken into a room where there was a consultant and a number of nurses and healthcare assistants. They told us that Jacob needed blood tests and a lumbar puncture. I passed Jacob to them and had to leave the room as I couldn't watch them do this to him.

"After a while they brought him back to me in a room which had a cot, overlooking the children's playground. I didn't realise this is where I would be spending a week without leaving.

"They started giving Jacob medication straight away to treat meningitis, just in case it was this. I was thinking "this is a bit extreme, he’s fine".

"At 9am a new doctor came and did the rounds. He sat us down and said Jacob had meningitis and that we were waiting to get more results back to see if it was bacterial. I didn't want to believe him as he was so casual when telling us.

"When the nurse came around and asked how we were, I told her that I hadn't been told anything and would like to see another doctor. The consultant came back in and explained the results again.

"For a week, it was constant changes of his cannula, pumping of medication, checking temperature, and blood tests.

"My husband brought our little girl in a couple of times to see her little brother. I felt like a bad mum for not being at home with her. She spent a week going between her auntie and uncle’s house, and nanna and grandad’s house. I don't think she minded though.

"After a week, we got the results back saying it was viral and not bacterial, and that he was well enough to go home. This was the best news ever.

"We paid a few more visits to the ward over the next couple of weeks for various checks but he was ok.

"He is now two and a half years old and is such a cheeky chap!"