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Joanne S' story

7th February 2019

Jenny’s baby daughter Joanne had been unwell for several days, but this was initially put down to teething. Then a chest infection was diagnosed but when Joanne’s condition deteriorated, Jenny, from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, rushed her straight to hospital

Joanne S' story

Fortunately, she went on to make a good recovery from pneumococcal meningitis. Jenny tells their story here.

“Joanne had been unwell for a couple of days and, given her age, we thought she was teething. As her temperature wasn’t dropping and she was vomiting when she coughed, we took her to A&E at the Royal Derby children’s hospital."

“They diagnosed a chest infection, prescribed antibiotics and rehydration salts and we opted to take her home to care for her there."

“I took the day off work and my mum came to watch her while I grabbed some sleep. I knew something was very wrong when I checked on her to give her some medicine and I couldn’t wake her. I tried to rouse her by pinching her ears and taking her babygrow off, but she was just floppy and lifeless."

Drove to hospital

“I didn’t even consider phoning an ambulance, I just grabbed her bag, put her in her car seat and my mum drove us to hospital. By now she was vomiting and there was blood in it."

“When we arrived at A&E some of the staff recognised us and we were rushed through for treatment."

“I just remember urgent calm from the consultant and nurses and the screams as they put a cannula in Joanne’s head to get some fluids and antibiotics in."

“She was rushed to the high dependency unit and it was two days before she was well enough to have a lumbar puncture, following which she was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis. She remained as an inpatient for three weeks and as an outpatient for nine months."

An amazing recovery

“She has made an amazing recovery and has only really suffered with ongoing headaches, which seem to be lessening in frequency. She has had further medical investigations, including an MRI scan, but none suggested any significant damage."

“She is now in Year 5 at school, working incredibly hard and doing exceptionally well. She dances, swims and is about to leave Brownies and become a Guide once she is 10 in June."

“We are very blessed to have her so healthy and well. I was prompted to write this after being reduced to tears watching another meningitis story on Channel 4’s documentary ‘24 hours in A&E’."

“I wasn’t aware of all the signs and symptoms of meningitis, and assumed I needed to find a rash on Joanne for it to be meningitis. I have now been educated and I now share my knowledge and experience with family, colleagues and friends."

“My daughter is now of an age where we have told her just how ill she was as a baby - Jonnie Peacock on Strictly Come Dancing was the catalyst - and she asks questions about what happened to her. As her mum, I remain eternally grateful to the medical teams at the hospital."

“Both my brother and I have raised funds for Meningitis Now.”