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Liam J’s story

23rd November 2023

Claire from Carmarthenshire recounts the story of her three-year-old son, Liam, being diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis in 2014.

Liam's Story case study pic

"Liam was one of the lucky ones that survived this awful disease."

“Liam was just three years old - we had been to get his new school uniform during the Easter holidays ready to start school.

“Afterwards we took Liam to the cinema. During the film Liam became tired and felt sick. We left and took him home.

“During the drive home Liam was sick and wanted to lie down. Over the next few hours he continued to be ill and complained of a sore throat. He also had a slight rash.

Chicken pox

“We phoned 111 and took him to the local hospital to be assessed. The doctor on call examined Liam, told us it was chicken pox and sent him home.

“By the following morning Liam was covered in what looked like bruises. I immediately called the doctor and took him straight away to be seen. They quickly gave Liam antibiotics and suggested that it was meningitis. They called 999 for an ambulance.

“Liam was rushed to Glangwilli Hospital in Carmarthen where a medical team were waiting to treat him. He was so poorly that they put him into an induced coma and transferred him by a specialised ambulance to the Heath hospital in Cardiff.

"He was taken into intensive care where he stayed for about a week.

Very sick child

“It was confirmed that Liam had meningococcal septicaemia. He was a very sick child and I was told that he had been hours away from dying.

“Liam was woken from the coma after treatment, which he responded to well. He was then taken to a side room of the Noah’s Ark children’s ward to recover and then back to our local hospital in Carmarthen to finish his treatment.

“Liam was monitored closely and underwent lots of hearing tests. Liam was one of the lucky ones that survived this awful disease.

“Recently Liam’s grandfather Brian passed away. His uncle will run the London Marathon 2024 (just like Grandad Brian did back in 1988) to raise money for Meningitis Now, which is a charity very close to our families’ hearts.

“Since Grandad Brian’s passing we have raised over £500 for Meningitis Now in memory of him by using the much-loved website.”

Typical teenager

“Liam is now just a typical teenager. He hates noise and crowded places and he has struggles with school, but he has always just got on with it.

“It’s only in this past year I am able to speak about Liam’s experience with meningitis without getting upset by reliving it all.

“We are a lucky family, and I am so grateful for all that was done for Liam.”