“My son Ollie was 12-weeks-old when he contracted this illness.
"I went in to check him to find him hot to touch, so I took him straight to the out of hours doctors, to be told he had, in their words ‘a bad cold’.
“So, we went home and gave him calpol and went to sleep for few hours. We woke in the morning to find Ollie the same way, so back to the doctors I went to again be told it was ‘a bad cold’.
“Between 9am and 4.30pm that day I returned twice to the doctors, when finally a different doctor told us ‘if he gets worse go straight to hospital’.
Straight to hospital
“That night at around 8pm I noticed Ollie become so lifeless so I went straight to hospital and demanded to be seen straight away. They took him off me and before I knew it he was hooked up to wires and getting a lumbar puncture done.
“Then they told us ‘he has meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia’, the worst kind and that only two other people in Northern Ireland had it and if we hadn't gone to hospital when we did he would not be here today.
“The hospital was amazing. They told us Ollie was the sickest child in the hospital and to prepare ourselves for the worst. We were devastated. I couldn't leave his side for three weeks. We watched our little baby lie there with wires all over him.
Tears of joy
“Finally we were told he had made a full recovery and tears of joy came from us all. The doctor then said that Ollie had a good chance of not developing as he should due to the amount of fluid that was around his brain, so again we prepared for the worst.
“But, before I knew it, Ollie was walking, talking, laughing and now going to school! My baby boy is now 4-years-old with a full, clean bill of health. I never understood the extremeness of meningitis until it happened to us. Everyone should be aware of the symptoms as it could save their life! I'm so happy my baby boy had he strength to beat it.”