"On the Wednesday morning he didn't wake as usual, so at 9am I woke him up and took him downstairs to change his nappy and give him breakfast.
"As I was trying to give him his baby rice he was refusing it and spilt some on his sleep suit. I started to take it off to change his clothes and noticed a rash on his leg. I don't know what made me get a glass to check the rash, but when I pressed the glass on the rash it didn’t go away. I rang my husband and told him I thought Matt had meningitis and he told me that it was unlikely as he didn't seem very poorly, but agreed that I should take him to the doctor. I rang the doctor’s surgery and they told me to bring him in straight away.
"From noticing the rash and getting him to the doctor it was no longer than 15 minutes. They took him straight in. It all happened so quickly. His temperature soared and he looked white. He was being sick and seemed to be very drowsy. The rash was spreading all over him. The next thing I knew they were giving him injections and we were in an ambulance.
"I was so scared and kept hearing the word meningitis. At the hospital Matthew was taken straight into resus and there were people everywhere. It was like I was seeing it in slow motion. I can't explain the feeling, but I remember asking if he would be ok and being told they couldn't tell me. They didn't know if we had got him there in time, which sounded so strange to me because he wasn't ill the day before, and only started showing symptoms on the way to the doctor.
"From the first real signs of him being poorly until we were at the hospital was just over an hour. Surely we had got him there in time. The next few days seemed to last forever and Matthew was hooked up to monitors and on a drip - he looked so tiny. He wasn't eating and all he was doing was sleeping. We saw people from the public health team and doctors were in and out every half an hour. Matthew didn't even make a sound when they were putting needles in him. How can you get so poorly so quickly?
"I felt helpless and blamed myself for not noticing that something was wrong before I did, but Matthew didn't seem unwell. Matthew has been left with after effects including; sensory processing disorder, speech and language difficulties and learning difficulties as well as sleep problems. It affects his life on a daily basis.
"We didn't hear about Meningitis Now for six years and I cannot put into words what their support means. To have someone who understands what Matthews life is like is amazing.