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Patrick V's story

7th August 2017

Sarah left her young son Patrick laughing but just hours later the youngster was fighting for his life in hospital. Sarah, from Lurgan in Armagh, tells their story here

Patrick V's story

“Patrick had meningococcal septicaemia in July last year (2016). He was four months old.

“On the Saturday morning Patrick woke happy, like any other morning. My husband Vasil and I had a weekend away planned so we left him with my mummy and sister. He slept all day, which was completely out of character. They woke him and managed to feed him some bottle, but he fell asleep while taking it.

“As the evening progressed Patrick's temperature began to spike and Calpol didn't take it down. He was smiling and laughing at his grandpa but my mummy noticed he couldn't hold his head up. After phoning the out of hours doctor they suggested they take him to accident and emergency.

Body was mottled

“When they arrived in triage Patrick’s feet started to turn blue and when they stripped him down his body was mottled. The nurse rushed him to resus where they administered iv fluid and antibiotics. He was then ventilated and transferred to the nearest PICU.

“I got the phone call during the night and the drive home was terrible. We arrived at the hospital and were taken to our son’s bedside. When we saw him it was awful. What had happened to our son? We left him smiling; now he was connected to a machine to keep him alive.

“When the consultant said meningococcal septicaemia it felt like our lives were falling apart. His rash didn’t develop until he was in PICU. Patrick spent a week in ICU. He had his ups and downs but came off the ventilator and we were all so relieved.

Healthy and happy

“A year later he is healthy and happy, unaware of his illness.

“When Patrick was first discharged I spent every night at the side of his cot. I couldn't sleep or eat. I read the Meningitis Now Facebook page and stories of other people affected and it has helped me greatly to understand fully what meningitis is and to know we're not alone.

“I am still fearful every day. After my son’s illness I found it very hard to understand. I became depressed and suffered from anxiety. My GP referred me for cognitive behaviour therapy, which has helped me with my anxiety. As time has gone on I'm grateful for the way our story has turned out.

“Patrick was very lucky and we are truly grateful to every medical professional who helped Patrick during his illness and afterwards.”