“Madeleine was running about all day with her cousins on that bank holiday weekend in May 2009.
She had a great day, so was naturally tired and had an early night. She woke us about 3am coughing and then subsequently vomiting all over her cot.
“We put her in our bed, gave her Calpol and then I noticed little purple pin pricks on her arms. I could literally see them popping up in her body, so I rushed her to A&E and was told they were blanching and she had a virus.
“We took her home and she didn’t get any better. She looked very hot so I undid her baby grow, and the spots were everywhere. I phoned the local GP and explained the situation and they told me to bring her to surgery asap.
At the surgery, the doctor took one look at her and phoned the hospital ward direct. My doctor ran out of the room and ran back with a shot of antibiotic, put it in her leg and told me to go straight to the hospital ward where they would be waiting for me.
I got there within 10 minutes and they ripped her from me. Within minutes she had a cannula in and was being administered antibiotics and treated for the strain. They took her blood and sent it to the lab. They ended up treating her for the worse strain as it would have taken about 4 days to find our which strain it was.
The consultant prepared us for the worst
This all happened on Tuesday morning and for the next day she was on standby to go to the local children’s hospital. The consultant stayed the night with us, preparing us for the worst by saying she had a 50/50 chance and that the next 24 hours were critical. She was so swollen due to the fluids being pumped up into her and the rash was so ugly all over her body."
My son, who was 11, was absolutely distraught thinking he was going to lose his sister. But by Thursday she was on the ward wanting to play with her dolls and run around - I just couldn’t believe she was at death's door and now causing havoc!"
“Madeleine was allowed home on Saturday but had to have nurses come daily for two weeks to administer antibiotics. I’m so very grateful and fortunate to say she pulled through it unscathed - bar from very weak teeth.
“Madeleine is 11 now and looking forward to starting senior school next year. She aspires to be a lawyer (to put everything right in her words). She knows how fortunate she is and we donate monthly to Meningitis Now. Her school is doing a charity bake sale and jumble sale next month and they have chosen the charity to donate any proceeds to, as well as the local homeless charity.
“She’s a very caring old soul with a fabulous sense of humour. It really breaks our hearts that there are people still dying or having to live with life changing injuries and after-effects from this horrendous disease. The work you are doing is outstanding and we will donate / raise awareness for as long as we can."