“When Noah was born my life became complete, he was my absolute world.
"Then, on the evening of 27th December at the age of seven weeks Noah started to emit an unusual continuous moan, which we just assumed was him finding his voice.
“This continued into the morning of the 28th, where he developed a temperature and was crying continuously. I managed to get an appointment at my GP, who stated it was most likely a virus (there are no negative feelings towards this diagnosis as Noah was not displaying any usual symptoms of meningitis at this point apart from fever). My GP did state to attend A&E if I were to become more concerned.
“Noah continued to deteriorate and started with arching of the back and emitting a high-pitched scream. I knew there was something seriously wrong and when I sat him up and saw his fontanelle. I knew in my gut this was meningitis.
“We arrived at Warrington Hospital at 5:20am where Noah was rushed in immediately. The staff informed me that even without a diagnosis they suspected meningitis and would commence treatment even before it had been confirmed, as if it wasn’t the only harm done would be that he had antibiotic treatment.
Just looking at my little boy
“When we were transferred to a ward we were visited by two doctors who sat me down to discuss the seriousness of Noah’s illness, but I couldn’t hear anything they were saying. I was just looking at my little boy in my arms, who I couldn’t move in the slightest due to his pain.
“I remember asking if he would die and the look on their faces made my insides drop! They stated the next 12 hours were critical and they couldn’t promise he would survive. Thankfully Noah, although very unwell, remained on the ward without the need to transfer to ICU which I truly believe is due to the doctors in A&E who commenced his treatment.
“After almost three weeks Noah continued to show enlarged ventricles in his brain and was diagnosed with hydrocephalus as well. He was immediately transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where he underwent a procedure to fit an EVD (external ventricular drain) to alleviate the pressure in his brain by draining cerebral spinal fluid. He continued on this for another two weeks until the decision was made for him to have a shunt fitted.
“Prior to this he was due to have a CT, so when waiting on these results the consultant came to discuss the procedure of the shunt. He then went to check the results of the CT and came back to me smiling brightly and informed me ‘He’s fixed himself!’ He explained that the ventricles in Noah’s brain had decreased and were showing signs that he was draining CSF.
Over the moon
“I was over the moon and could finally become optimistic of his recovery. We were discharged two days later and returned home. Due to the age of Noah and the underdevelopment of his brain at that time I was told any damage to his brain would not become evident until later on in his development.
“Noah is now 6 and has just been fitted for his first hearing aid as his left ear has suffered nerve damage from the meningitis. However, he is here and with us so it’s a price as a mother I am happy to pay! Growing up Noah would experience times of extreme emotion as a reaction to situations and his ‘tantrums’ would last as long as three or four hours. This appears to be alleviating since starting school and I am unsure if this is due to damage of his brain, as many mums explain to me this is how boys are!
“Noah has also had to be hospitalised due to becoming pyrexial when he has a minor illness such as a cold. The last occasion his temperature was 41.6 due to an ear infection. However, thankfully this has not produced any further damage.
“He has grown into the most kind and considerate little boy who always puts others before himself. He receives his hearing aid next week and is excited as he has chosen for it to be decorated with Manchester City colours.
“People often talk about ‘how did I cope with what happened?’ If I’m honest I did struggle and continue to. If Noah falls over and I can see an injury I dish out the kisses and cuddles and send him on his way. However, if Noah becomes unwell and develops a temperature I can feel panic coming over me, which I think may be something ‘normal’ to feel from his experience.
“Noah is aware he had ‘a poorly head’ when he was a baby but I will leave it until he is a lot older to tell him about what he went through as a little dot.”