“My daughter Minnie-Rose woke up screaming at about 3am with a temperature.
I gave her some calpol and sat with her. By 5am her temperature hadn't come down and she was lethargic and drowsy, so I called 111, who told me to give her more calpol and keep an eye on her.
“I took her downstairs, but she screamed when I moved her, so I called the doctor.
“I struggled to move her without her hysterically crying. I kept trying to give her water but she wouldn't take any. The doctors said it was normal for her to cry when touched due to her fever; she said it will hurt to touch her because she's so hot but I reinforced that she was in physical pain when touched. Because of this we took her to the hospital.
Purple spots on her legs
“Whilst at the hospital, they checked her over and noticed she was barely moving. Usually she literally wouldn't stay still. After being there half an hour they noticed some purple spots on her legs. I originally thought it might be small bruises from our cat but they insisted on further tests, and thank God they did.
“She had to have bloods taken and a cannula inserted, but they couldn't find any veins because she was only six months old. It had to go in her head with a cup covering it to stop her tugging it. We later referred to it as her crown!
“We all thought she might have a urine infection because she screamed out when she passed urine, but they told us her blood tests showed something so she would have to have a lumbar puncture. My world then fell apart. My beautiful girl wasn't well.
The longest wait. . .
“The hospital put her straight on antibiotics, which seemed to confirm to us she did have meningitis. Once they were in her system we were moved to our own room and barrier nursed. Next came the longest wait of our life. We were still hopeful that it was just an infection but the doctor confirmed it was bacterial meningitis and all I could think was that this is a disease that kills.
“The doctor warned us that Minnie could rapidly deteriorate overnight and to keep an eye out for any symptoms. I didn't sleep that night. I watched my baby girl in pain and wondered what life was going to be like for my intelligent little girl. The staff were fantastic and really supportive.
“However, by the morning Minnie was up and smiling! She also managed to play. I was gobsmacked! This lasted about 10 minutes and then the life and colour drained from her face and she was back to being lifeless. She couldn't keep any food down, and was on a drip to stop dehydration and antibiotics once a day.
My girl was a fighter
“Over the next few days more of the purple spots appeared and I was terrified, but my girl was a fighter and always woke up in a good mood ready to take on the disease.
“She had to have a brain scan to check how much damage had been done, which was thankfully none. After a few days she seemed to gain a little more life and was rolling around and could play for longer and longer.
“After a week the consultant said we were allowed home but she would have to come in for her antibiotics once a day. Minnie was always in a great mood on the way to the hospital but after her injections she would scream for hours. It was heart-breaking. Minnie fully recovered from meningitis due to the speed we managed to get her treated. I fully believe if we had left her even one more hour before getting her checked then her story would be a tragic one.
“I couldn't believe how easily it could be missed. The rash was the last symptom to show and this is an indicator that it was in her blood stream, so any longer and it would have done considerably more damage!
“She's had her checks and the consultant doesn't seem to think it has affected her at all. Throughout her journey, Minnie has been upbeat and a fighter. She didn't let her illness get her down and was an inspiration. Throughout the whole ordeal Meningitis Now helped me to realise how important it is to look out for the symptoms early and reassured me in those dark days. It also helped me to understand what my six-month-old baby was feeling when she couldn't tell me herself.”