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Mac's story

1st May 2019

Rachel’s son Mac became ill as a seven-month-old, 10 years ago. Thankfully he made a good recovery and to mark the anniversary Rachel and Mac organised a charity night, which raised an amazing £2,110 as well as valuable awareness. Rachel, from Manchester, tells their story here

Mac's story

“Mac was seven months old when he was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia."

“I remember that day vividly even though it was 10 years ago. I was awoken by Mac in the early hours of the morning. He never was a baby to cry, such a good baby, but this time he was crying and wouldn’t settle at all. I gave him the usual Calpol with the hope that things would settle, but he never did."

“An hour went by and I decided we needed to go to A&E. When Mac was originally seen by the doctor an ear infection was diagnosed and the doctor wrote out a prescription for more Calpol. But I, along with Mac’s grandmother, strongly disagreed with the doctor’s opinion. We demanded a second opinion, but we never got one."

Cries became a moan

“However, Mac started to become more unwell and the cries turned into what I can only describe as a moan. We then stripped Mac down and noticed a rash on the inner side of his thigh. At that point we were taken more seriously and taken immediately up to a ward."

“Then, to our relief, we were taken seriously and a nurse called Rebecca said she was treating Mac for meningitis. We then spent a few hours in the ward whilst Mac was administered his first lot of antibiotics."

“Mac wasn’t well enough to be taken to Gloucester Royal at that time. Once he was well enough we then spent 10 days in ICU. How he pulled through was beyond me. He looked like a child who was unrecognisable to me - he was swollen with wires everywhere. Myself and my family prepared ourselves for the worst, but he did survive and has since made a full recovery."

Go with your gut

“My advice to parents out there is to go with your gut, and challenge those in the medical profession if you do not agree with the initial diagnosis. If we initially had taken the doctor’s advice my son wouldn’t be here today."

“As this year marked 10 years, Mac and I decided to give something back to Meningitis Now for the help they provided us at the time."

“We hosted a Mac’s Charity Night on 13 April and raised a whopping £2,110. Our mission was to firstly raise awareness and in the process raise vital funds to help those families who are going through the unimaginable."

Thank you for the support

“On behalf of myself, Mac and all our family I cannot thank you enough for the support and the work you continue to do for families out there. It helped enormously at the time to speak to people who had experienced the same as we as a family had had to deal with."

“I am more aware of the symptoms now and I have educated family members and encouraged them to get their children vaccinated against MenB.”