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Lucas M’s story

9th August 2017

Nickie’s young son Lucas, from Normanton in West Yorkshire, contracted meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia when he was just 1 in 2011. As Lucas has grown older, after-effects that were not immediately obvious have become more pronounced, as Nickie explains

Lucas M’s story

“Lucas fell ill with a temperature that hit 41 degrees and scared me and his dad to death.

We took him to A&E where they advised Calpol and sent us home. It was 2am.

“That night I stayed downstairs with him in a travel cot watching him and by 7am he had grown so unresponsive and floppy it scared me to death. Lucas was sick, moaning and had cold hands with a high temperature.

“My husband decided to pop out for an errand and said if he hadn't improved by the time he got back we would go back to the hospital. During this time I decided to change Lucas’s nappy.

Small purple rash

“He wouldn't drink, he was making an odd moan and he barely registered my movements as I took his nappy off. It was then I saw a very small purple rash on his groin, no bigger than my thumbnail.

“I ran to get a leaflet on meningitis I had been given when he was born. To this day I don't know what triggered that reaction but it saved his life.

“As I ran my fingers down the list of symptoms my blood ran cold. I called 999 and the ambulance responder, God bless his soul, arrived within minutes, took one look at Lucas and gave him a penicillin injection, again an action that saved his life.

Air ambulance on standby

“By the time we arrived at hospital Lucas’s heart rate and breathing were almost non existent and they diagnosed septicaemia, giving the air ambulance a standby instruction in case we had to go to another hospital to amputate.

“That next hour was the most difficult of our lives, watching our son fight for his life. But miraculously he won that fight. Minutes later and it could have been a different story but Lucas fought and won.

“After he had been given the okay from the lumbar puncture and was out of isolation we were in hospital for just over a week. Then he took about six weeks of home care to recover to full strength.

*Update - February 2019*

"Lucas now struggles with anxieties, sadness and his feelings. He has really big emotions that he can't always express. He gets frustrated easily and more and more aggressive.

"We didn't know about acquired brain injury being a very common after-effect of meningitis. We had thought it may be autism or something for a while, but autism just didn't feel right either.

"We searched and searched the internet and eventually came across ABI from meningitis and septicaemia and I just knew this was it. Lucas is still to be formally diagnosed and we have a long journey ahead to support him with his feelings, but it's all positive.

"I just want to make other parents aware who may have had similar experiences.

"It has been good to read other stories on the Meningitis Now website and Facebook pages and speak to other parents. We are getting lots of support from Meningitis Now and are also getting in touch with the Child Brain Injury Trust. We are also undertaking weekly CAMHS sessions."