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Rupert's story

30th August 2023

It was a normal afternoon for Chloe, from Stroud, until her four-month-old son started screaming. A lumbar puncture later confirmed Rupert had viral meningitis

Rupert G’s story

"I always thought meningitis was just a rash, I had no idea of any other symptoms

“I was making dinner whilst Rupert was in his bouncing chair watching the fish tank as his dad and older brother, Ralph, were watching TV.

"Suddenly Rupert was screaming, not just crying, but screaming. His dad, Harry, picked him up and said he felt really hot.


"We stripped him down to just his nappy. Rupert was still screaming and he wouldn't make eye contact or settle. I quickly bundled him into the car and took him to Gloucester hospital whilst Harry stayed at home with Ralph.

“Rupert was still not making eye contact and he still screaming when we got to the hospital. The Gloucester team rushed us through within minutes, although it felt like a lifetime.

“He was given paracetamol whilst I explained what had happened. After twenty minutes he settled down, stopped screaming and seemed to start to focus again.

No rash

"We were taken to paediatrics where they assessed Rupert, asked a few questions and explained to me they believed he had meningitis. My response, through tears, was, "He doesn't have the rash though."

"Thankfully after a CT scan, a lumbar puncture and three days in hospital we were allowed home as it was confirmed to not be bacterial meningitis. Rupert’s temperature was staying down, and he was so much more settled.

“He had been given antibiotics as a precaution through a canular so that could be stopped too.

Worried mum

"The doctors have said he may take weeks or months to be 100% back to normal, but I'm just so glad he seems to be on the right track. His eyesight seems normal now, as a worried mum it's something I check multiple times a day.

“I've never been so scared, I always thought meningitis was just a rash, I had no idea of any other symptoms.”

“A week later I rushed Rupert back to Gloucester as I noticed his fontanelle (soft spot) had swollen again, which was the main sign of meningitis the first time. Thankfully they only kept us in for a few hours and all his vitals were normal and he was happy.

“This is when they explained to me that the recovery for viral meningitis can take a lot longer than the standard 10 days that the internet says.

Be aware

“The most important thing I've learnt through all of this is to be aware, and always trust your gut instinct. I hate to think what would have happened if I had just kept him at home and not had him checked.

“Rupert is now coming up to six months old. He’s nearly ready to start solids and is as active as ever too! He's chit chatting, interaction never stops and he's longing to be running around with his brother.

“Our experience has made me extra cautious - I still check he's following his eyesight by following my finger or an object a few times a day.

“I've also learnt that it's important to talk to people. I spoke to my local doctors as I really struggled with anxiety and was constantly worried we would end up in hospital again or worse.

“Being a parent is hard but having a network to reach out too is the greatest form of help.”