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Lacey-Mae's story

3rd August 2015

When Katie Schmidt, 26, Bognor Regis, was told her daughter had contracted group B strep (GBS) meningitis in May she was heartbroken

Lacey-Mae's story

Katie watched on as Lacey-Mae got stronger day-by-day, but unfortunately she has been left with life changing after-effects.

“Lacey-Mae was born on the 15 May 2015 at 23:15. The next day we were allowed home from hospital but during the night she wasn’t feeding and I thought she was just whinging.

The next morning (17 May) at 10am, the midwife came to see me and Lacey at home. I told her Lacey wasn’t feeding and hadn’t slept. When she tried to get her to feed she noticed that her breathing was too fast and she was grunting, so she rang the neonatal ward and asked them to see her.

At 11am we arrived at hospital and Lacey had her bloods taken. Within an hour she was fitting and had stopped breathing a number of times. I saw her arching her back and I said to the doctor: 'she’s got meningitis hasn’t she?

My son had contracted meningococcal meningitis at five months old so I just knew. The doctors reply was: ‘that is what we are thinking at the moment.

Lacey was put on antibiotics and antivirals just in case their suspicions were correct.”

We weren’t sure if she would survive

“Lacey was getting worse by the minute. Doctors decided to intubate her to take some stress off her tiny little body. In the 36 hours since being born she had already lost 9oz in weight. She was so tiny and helpless.

Lacey was then transferred by ambulance to a specialist neonatal hospital. The next morning we were told they weren’t sure if Lacey would survive and, if she did, what quality of life she would have. The infection markers had risen higher, even though she was on antibiotics.

We weren’t allowed to touch her because even the smallest touch was setting off her fits - she had around five major fits altogether.

On the Tuesday it was confirmed that she had contracted strep B meningitis. We were told they only have a few babies a year diagnosed with strep B and the outcome is hard to predict.

It was the most heart-breaking thing to hear as I hadn’t got to know my baby girl. I hadn’t had time to bond with her before she was going to be taken away.”

Lacey got stronger every day

“But Lacey fought. She got stronger and stronger every day.

After nine days in intensive care we were transferred back to our local hospital for another 14 days of antibiotics. But we were then told that she had too much fluid on her brain and would need surgery.

We were eventually discharged when Lacey was 23 days old. She then had her shunt put in when she was six weeks old.

Lacey is now 10 weeks old and doing well. We’ve been told she’s partially deaf and we think she may also be blind but she’s too young to find out yet.

Despite her problems I’m the proudest mummy. I wouldn’t change my baby girl for the world.”