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Liam and Claire's story

1st October 2016

Liam, from Thatcham in Berkshire, had an unusual high-pitched cry when he was born and his breathing was laboured. Liam had contracted meningitis, but fortunately responded well to treatment. Mum Claire tells their story here

Liam and Claire's story

“When Liam was born he had an unusually high-pitched cry. We didn't know then that this was a symptom of meningitis.

“The next day we noticed his breathing seemed laboured. He was taken to the baby unit to be checked over and would be back within the hour we were told. He was not.

“When we went to see him he was in the high dependency unit. The doctors told us that his bloods showed signs of an infection. They had started giving three types of antibiotics and were currently carrying out more tests, one of which was a lumbar puncture. A short while later we were told that he had bacterial meningitis and septicaemia.

“It was horrible to see our little baby lying in an incubator on oxygen with lines in his nose, hands and stomach, not being able to hold him for the first week of his life. He was so ill he rarely cried or even moved. All we could do was sit by his incubator and pray that the antibiotics would work.

Life-threatening infection

“I didn't know a lot about bacterial meningitis but once I started looking on the internet I realised just how life-threatening it could be and that if our little baby boy did pull through the many disabilities he could possibly face.

“We were one of the lucky families. Liam responded very well to the antibiotics and after the longest weekend we were told by the doctors that they did not know what the future may hold for him but it would be a future with him in it.

“His milestones will be monitored closely over the next few years but currently he is not showing any after-effects. We're so very grateful to the staff at Swindon Hospital. Without them we may have lost our beautiful son Liam, and his brother Rory may then never have known the love of his little brother. Meningitis is a terrible illness; we are so fortunate that Liam survived and so very grateful for each day we share with him.”