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Laura and Oliver's story

30th September 2016

Baby Oliver’s pneumococcal meningitis was first diagnosed as just a Christmas cold. But mum Laura, from Grantham in Lincolnshire, persevered and eventually he was admitted to hospital. Despite being left with after-effects he is now a happy, funny and quirky 9-year-old. Laura tells their story here

Laura and Oliver's story

“Trust your gut - I was told three times my 4-month-old son 'just' had a Christmas common cold. To appease me, on the third visit, I was given nasal drops!

“On returning home, I spoke with my mother-in-law, who took us straight back to the doctors’ surgery, where I demanded to see a different doctor. The doctor we then saw didn't even take my son out of his car seat; she just very calmly told us to return to the waiting room. After maybe three minutes she came out and handed me a sealed letter and told us to go straight to our local hospital, and that they were expecting us.

The nightmare began

“At our local hospital our son was taken straight from us. About an hour passed and he was brought back out to us. I could see he had a cannula in his hand and had been prepared for extra cannulas. I was put in an ambulance and strapped onto a stretcher, with my son placed on top off me. We were blue lighted to a bigger hospital. My husband followed behind. When we got there, our son was taken again, and we were bundled into a side room. And so the nightmare began.

“We didn't see him for a couple of hours, and had no idea what was going on. Eventually a doctor came to see us and explained that they suspected meningitis. I felt numb.

Given a 5% chance

“We signed forms to allow the lumbar puncture, and my husband went in with him. During the lumbar puncture, our son suffered three seizures. It was explained to us that confirmation of meningitis can take a long time, and that confirmation of the strain will obviously take longer. After two hours, they were back, not only with confirmation but the exact strain as well. He was given a 5% chance.

“No doubt about it, our son had hours left in him and we were told had we not taken him that fourth time to the doctors, we'd have woken up on Xmas morning to a dead baby!

“The hospitals and staff were all amazing. We spent four weeks in the hospital, and our little miracle survived. Our story is not over, and never will be. Oliver has been left deaf and has some neurological difficulties and learning difficulties, so the hospital appointments will always be ongoing. But he's perfect in every way - happy, funny, quirky - our beautiful little Oliver, aged 9.”