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Liam R's story

29th June 2015

Little Liam Reid, from Stourport-on-Severn in Worcestershire, fell ill at six-weeks-old in November 2005

Liam R's story

His symptoms included a different persistent cry, shallow breathing, not feeding and being very limp.

He survived, but has been left with a range of after-effects which have taken their toll on family life. With our support though they have pulled through and are now looking forward to the future. Mum Donna tells their story

“I had group B strep during pregnancy, so I had intravenous antibiotics during labour. They said Liam was fine when he was born, although he developed a rash at two weeks. We went to hospital but were sent home.

Liam was a happy, responsive baby who loved cuddles and fed well until he fell very ill on a Saturday morning at six weeks of age.

We phoned primary care and they said give him Calpol, but my husband CJ insisted he was seen and they agreed. We had a very sick baby who was hardly breathing.

Everyone went in before us! Eventually we were seen. I said I had group B strep during pregnancy, not knowing it caused meningitis. I have no idea why I said it but ... it saved his life!

We were told to drive to Worcester Hospital as it would be quicker. He was treated immediately for meningitis, but no oxygen was given although his oxygen levels were really low when tested. The nurse said the equipment must be broken.

We were told Liam had been a couple of hours from dying. We spent five days in hospital and then were sent home and they came to administer antibiotics for the next two weeks."

Coping with the after-effects

“It’s the after-effects that have been so hard for us all. Liam doesn't cope in school or in social situations, like hospital waiting rooms. He’s 9-and-a-half-years-old now, has a sensory processing disorder, severe anxiety, hypermobility syndrome and OCD, but hasn't had an autistic diagnosis yet.

He's recently had an MRI scan of his head and auditory tests, and is due to have an ultrasound of his urinary tract, as he has water infections. He's seen at Birmingham Children’s Hospital now. They apologised on behalf of the NHS for their failings in treating Liam.

I’ve home schooled him for two years now and he's doing well. His anxiety levels are now manageable and his agoraphobia is getting better. Two years ago he had a total breakdown while attending a special needs school. I'd already taken him out by the time they said they couldn't meet his needs!

I’ve fixed him myself - at one point after Liam had repeatedly claimed he wanted to kill himself I must admit I contemplated it as an option for us both. But you at Meningitis Now were there for me and I’ve got through it.

We are so happy, love life and look forward to our future.”