“Throughout all of these struggles she has smiled from cheek to cheek”
“Peggy-Sue was born at a healthy, normal weight. She had no signs of being poorly. I know newborns like to sleep but something wasn’t sitting right with me about how sleepy she was.
“Her jaundice levels weren’t going down so it was arranged that Peggy-Sue would be monitored in hospital. Little did I know that this was the start of Peggy-Sue being very poorly.
"Peggy-Sue’s temperature went up to 42°. The doctors performed a lumbar puncture the following morning. Those hours without my newborn felt like a whole lifetime. I slept, ate and showered. I was pacing up and down. I had no idea what the following weeks were going to bring.
“A consultant came that evening and told me that Peggy-Sue had meningitis and that our stay could be several weeks long. I was away from my two other children and my hormones were all over the place.
"I wondered how I could keep strong for Peggy-Sue with none of my support network with me. I cried for ages, blaming myself for her getting poorly.
“The days were long and the weeks dragged but we got through everything together. I held her during ultrasounds, gave her my own blood for a blood transfusion, held her hands during cannula fittings and her little feet for heel prick tests.
“After she had her blood transfusion Peggy-Sue's skin went from grey to peach quite quickly. I could start to see an improvement straight away. She was staying awake for longer periods and starting to respond well to doctors and nurses.
"It was so scary watching someone so little having all the needles put in her, but she coped so well.
“It’s been a year now and it still scares me to think how things could have gone so differently. I still struggle with the fact that Peggy-Sue's arrival in the world, which should have been a time to celebrate, was overshadowed by her illness.
“Peggy is now 14 months old. She has a journey ahead of her but she's doing extremely well for what she went through. She keeps passing her hearing tests. We are still waiting for the results from EDS and Cerebral Palsy tests.
“Throughout all of these struggles she has smiled from cheek to cheek and does not let any of it determine who she is as a happy, funny toddler.”