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Maison's story

3rd June 2015

Maison Farmer, Swindon, battles everyday with the severe after-effects bacterial meningitis can cause. He contracted the disease in March 2012, just twelve weeks after he was born.

Maison's story

His mother, Nicole, shares their ordeal.

“Maison was seven weeks premature, born at 31 weeks. He spent the first seven weeks of his life in hospital and was doing really well and everything seemed fine.

At about 12 weeks of age he started to cry uncontrollably and was refusing his feed. He also developed a little grunt.

After continuously crying for two hours, Maison was not settling so my partner and I took him to A & E. He was seen by the doctors and after a series of questions and tests they said everything was fine and put it down to wind. We were offered the option to stay in so Maison could undergo blood tests but they didn't think it was needed, so, we made our way home."

A deteriorating condition

“When I woke up the next morning I realised Maison had not woken for a feed. When I tried to feed him he just let the milk dribble out of the bottle without even trying to suck. He hadn’t had a feed for a good 12 hours so I rang the hospital again. They didn't seem worried and told me to keep trying to get whatever I could down him.

Throughout the day he got worse. He started to go limp and the grunting worsened. He still refused the bottle so that afternoon we took him back to A & E.

Maison was seen quickly. The nurse timed his breathing and after about 10 seconds she shouted for resus and ran with Maison in her arms. Nurses and doctors frantically ran around Maison and after about 15 minutes we were informed he had an infection. I had no idea how serious it was at this point.

He was put into machine to help him breath but it didn't work. After hours of tests and waiting around we were eventually allowed him to see him.

Within two minutes of being in the room we were ushered out again as he stopped breathing. We were told that they had attempted numerous lumbar punctures but he was just too ill.

Later that night Maison was transferred to Bristol Children’s Hospital and put in an induced coma. He was hooked up to a machine to do his breathing for him so his body could fight the infection. He had been suffering from fits and was placed on medication to help."

Severe after-effects

“Over the next couple of days Maison doubled in size due to excess body fluid and he needed a white blood cell transfusion. It was at this point we were told he had bacterial meningitis and suspected septicaemia. They didn't know if he would make it and if he did, his brain damage would be severe as his brain had been starved of oxygen.

Thankfully Maison got stronger as the days went on. The fits stopped and he started to breath for himself.

Maison spent a total of three weeks in hospital. On the day he was discharge, a brain scan showed irreversible ischemia brain damage. We were told we wouldn’t know the full extent of damage until he got older.

At two years old, Maison had another MRI scan which showed the brain damage had remained the same."

Living with the after-effects of meningitis

“He is now three and a half; he suffers from a severe visual impairment, microcephaly, and irreversible brain damage. As he gets older his problems become more obvious. Maison can only say around 20 single words and only uses a handful of them in the right context. His development age has been assessed at 12-18 months in most criteria's.

We're told that as he gets older, the gap between his actual age and development age will increase. At some point his development will slow right down. He has a lot of professionals helping with his development and has recently had an education care plan developed.

We have no idea how much he will develop but he is the happiest little boy and I wouldn't change him for the world!"