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Oscar F's story

16th September 2015

Doctors were running out of options as 14-month-old Oscar’s condition rapidly deteriorated after he contracted meningococcal meningitis in January this year

Oscar F's story

His parents prepared for the worst as his life hung in the balance. Luckily they witnessed a miracle as their beautiful baby boy pulled through. 

Oscar’s mother, Jessica Farrell, tells their story. 

“I woke up at 9 o'clock in the morning. Oscar’s father, Tom, had gone to work as normal but Oscar wasn't awake yet which was unusual.

The first thing I noticed was that he was very hot and wasn't waking up as easily as he normally would. I decided to call a doctor and started getting him dressed.

As I took Oscar’s nappy off I noticed he had a small rash on his stomach.

When we got to the doctors there was a long wait and Oscar was getting sicker by the minute. By the time we eventually got called in to see the doctor, Tom was there with me and we went into the room together.”

We were told how serious Oscar’s condition was

“The doctor asked what was wrong with Oscar so I showed him the rash and he immediately rang an ambulance. While in the doctor’s office he was given penicillin and the doctor warned us how serious it was.

The ambulance arrived ten minutes later but the wait felt like a lifetime. We were rushed off in the ambulance and, as we made our way to Wythenshawe Hospital, I heard the paramedic say it was a red alert. That's when my heart dropped.

We arrived at the  hospital at 12pm. There were nurses waiting for him to arrive and they wheeled him off into a little side room."

We prepared for the worst as the doctors were running out of options

“Doctors started working on Oscar. He had a blood transfusion and they injected into the bones in his legs to get medication into them. There were so many doctors around his tiny little body. His rash was spreading fast and they were giving him a lot of fluids to keep him alive.

Medical staff pulled Tom and I into a family room and told us that the next few hours were critical. They prepared us for the worst as they told us his body wasn't reacting very well and they were running out of options on what to do next.

They explained that he needed to go to another hospital but he was too poorly to travel. Our world came crashing down. There was nothing to do to help our poor boy.

14 family members turned up that day to support Oscar.”

We said our hardest goodbye

“At 5pm the Newts Transfer Team arrived and managed to help stabilise Oscar’s body enough to travel. We weren't allowed to travel with Oscar as he needed a lot of medics around him to help save his life.

We said our hardest goodbye to our beautiful boy. I have never been so scared in my life. I didn’t want to leave his side.

Oscar had a police escort 34 miles to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool. We arrived there about 45 minutes after Oscar and the doctors were still trying to stabilise his little body.

We still weren’t allowed in to see him for a good while after we got there.”

We didn’t know if our boy was going to survive

“Finally, one of Oscar’s doctors came to get us out of the family room and take us to see him. On the way he explained that Oscar was on a life support machine and that he was a very poorly baby. He said we still weren’t out of the woods yet.

The first time I saw Oscar on the machine it was terrible - every mother's worst nightmare.

He spent a total of seven days on the ventilator in ICU. Each day the news got a bit better and on the seventh day he got taken off the machine and we prepared to be transferred back to Wythenshawe for recovery.

Our time in Alder Hey was a nightmare - we really didn't know if our boy was going to survive but we were the happiest people alive when he got taken off that horrible machine.”

Oscar is a miracle – we’re blessed to still have him with us

“We arrived back at Wythenshawe Hospital and the doctors and nurses were so surprised that he made it back. One even told us that they thought he wasn't going to make it and that he's a miracle.

It was an amazing feeling to know he was on the road to recovery but Oscar still wasn't feeding at all. He had to stay on feeding tubes, he couldn't walk and he had no energy. Oscar was withdrawing off all the drugs, which was horrible, and he was still very poorly. His body was very swollen and he still looked like he was covered in a rash.

On day five of being back at Wythenshawe Oscar was finally getting stronger. He was lifting his head and moving about again. It was amazing.

Five days later he was taken off all the feeding tubes and discharged from hospital. After that it wasn't too long before he was back to his normal self.

We are so lucky to still have our beautiful baby and we feel blessed every day we spend with him. He is truly amazing and very intelligent. He really is a miracle!

The doctors were over the moon with his recovery and now he's as cheeky as ever.

He was 14 months old when he got meningitis. He's now 22 months and is doing great.”