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Owain's story

11th February 2015

Little Owain was just 15-months-old when he fell ill, a "horrific" experience which has prompted his family to fundraise for Meningitis Now

Owain's story

His mum Elin, 29, remembers how Owain fell ill a week after they returned from a holiday in Spain and Holland.

She said: "Initially Owain was just a bit flat and had a slight temperature. A slight rash began to appear, which looked like chicken pox. Chicken pox had been going around so we weren't overly worried at this point. But at 8pm he started vomiting and was moaning. The spots had gone flat instead of raised so we called NHS direct. We did the tumbler test and some of the spots didn't fade."

By 10pm Owain's temperature had rocketed to 40 degrees so his parents Elin and Jason decided to take him to Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor as a precaution. Calpol had brought his temperature down by this point and he seemed to perk up and even began playing.

Elin said: "The doctor didn't know what was wrong but decided to keep us in overnight because we lived so far away from the hospital. It was lucky he did because Owain deteriorated within a few hours. By the morning the rash had got worse and they began treating him with antibiotics.

He was in the high-dependency ward for four days. It was horrendous. I thought he was going to die."

Despite Elin's worst fears, brave Owain battled back and was allowed home. He's now three and Elin hopes their nightmare experience will help alert others to the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

She said: "I was so glad I trusted my instincts and decided to take him straight to hospital. He started at school part-time in September and we're confident he's made a good recovery – much to everyone's relief."

Owain was diagnosed as having meningococcal septicaemia, which occurs when meningococcal bacteria enter the blood strain and multiply uncontrollably, poisoning the blood and completely overwhelming the immune system damaging the blood vessels, tissues and organs.