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Leo H’s story

15th March 2015

Leo’s mum Leanne, from Bargod in Mid Glamorgan, was alerted to her son’s illness when she noticed his raised soft spot and high pitched cry

Leo H’s story

He was rushed to hospital and, after an uncertain few days, began to respond well to treatment.

Leannne tells their story here.

“It was 5.30 pm on the 29th January 2013 when I realised something wasn’t quite right with Leo. He had been running a temperature all day and had been off his feeds. It was when I noticed his soft spot was raised. I phoned my GP, who told us to go straight up.

“After taking Leo’s observations they told us to go straight to the Royal Gwent Hospital.

“When we arrived they took more observations and blood tests, but we seemed to be waiting around for hours as they just didn’t know what was going on. It was when they came in to tell us that they were doing a lumbar puncture that I knew something was up.

“They took Leo away from me and advised me that it was best I didn’t go with them while they performed the lumbar puncture. By this time he was extremely poorly.

“I was in a room a few down from where they did the procedure and I couldn’t hear him cry!

Shaking their heads

“As I approached the room there were medical staff everywhere, telling me to go back and wait. As I looked on, all I could see were a doctor and nurse holding a bag, or something, containing the fluid they had from the lumbar puncture and I could see them shaking their heads.

“A doctor then came to see me and the words he used will haunt me forever; well, he didn’t need to speak, his face told the whole story. ‘I’m sorry, we are treating Leo for meningitis and the next 48 hours are critical.’ The first question I asked was: ‘Is my baby going to die?’ The doctor just looked at me and said: ‘I don’t know.’

“They moved Leo into the high dependency unit at the Royal Gwent and I went in to see him. I didn’t know what to think, I just whispered in his ear ‘mammy won’t let you die, I promise.’

“I sat by his bedside for 48 hours, watching every minute and second, and I knew as we got closer to the time he may be okay.

“Forty-eight hours passed and they then moved Leo on to the ward. He was still poorly but was responding to the antibiotics and was getting stronger every day.

Best day of my life

“After 10 long days we were allowed home. Leo made a full recovery and it was the best day of my life.

“Leo is three now and full of life. He is a happy, healthy boy who is now enjoying school.

“I wouldn’t wish this nasty disease on anybody. I grieved for a little boy I never ever lost and it’s made life hard at times. But not everyone is as lucky as us and my heart breaks for the children lost.

“What I will say is that Leo had no rash. It was only the other symptoms, and I had to use my instinct and get help. Mother’s instinct is never wrong - always go with your gut instinct and no matter how big or small, seek medical advice because you never know what’s around the corner.

“Meningitis Now gave me lots of support when Leo was ill and afterwards. We raised some money for the charity too and attended a family fun day.”