“It was a Saturday and my son Ryan-Nathan was meant to be having a sleepover with his nanny.
“She gave him a bottle at 5pm and after that he just wouldn't settle. I went to get him at 8 o’clock and brought him home. He just wasn’t his usual self – he was usually a very happy baby who only cried when he was hungry but we could just not settle him. The whole night he slept for about an hour on and off.
Off to hospital
“The next morning I phoned the out of hours doctors as it was a Sunday and they asked if his hands were a grey colour and cold? I told them ‘yes’ so they said bring him to hospital. I didn’t think anything of it, so off to hospital we went.
“As soon as we got to hospital two nurses came straight away, stripped him, took his temperature and we were brought straight to a cubicle. The doctor tried to get a line in him for some fluids but couldn’t, so a specialist had to come to do it. They shaved a bit of his hair and got a cannula in his head.
“Then they told us that they wanted to do a lumbar puncture on him. Still I thought my baby is too small to be that sick. They did the lumbar puncture and we were moved to a side ward, where a few hours later a doctor came and told us that we were getting moved to Belvoir Ward (a high infection ward). They were treating him for meningitis because he had all the symptoms and the results of the lumbar puncture would take 48 hours to come back.
Three types of antibiotics
“As soon as we got on to the ward they gave him three types of antibiotics to be on the safe side as they didn’t know what type of meningitis it was.
“We were slowly allowed to start feeding him a little bit at a time. On the Tuesday they came with the results and our whole world came crashing down – my little boy had ecoli bacterial meningitis and would need a three week course of antibiotics.
“The cannula he had in wasn't permanent so they kept trying to get a more permanent pic line in with no luck. We couldn’t take him home until he got a more permanent pic line in so he went to theatre where they got one in.
Big sister’s delight
“We were then allowed to bring him home during the day, much to his big sister Summer-Rose’s delight, as she was unable to see him for over two weeks. We had to bring him back up to the hospital at night-time though for his antibiotics and to stay over. For the last four days the community nurses came to the house to give him his antibiotics.
“So, after three weeks on antibiotics came the dreaded lumbar puncture again for my small baby. We had to wait 48 hours again for the results and they came back clear – my little baby beat meningitis. He was such a little fighter the whole way through it and came on leaps and bounds.
Never know he was so sick
“He has since had a hearing test, which came back all clear. Looking at Ryan-Nathan now you would never know he was once so sick. He is 8 months now and nothing at all stops him. I’m so grateful to the nurses in the Belvoir Ward at the Royal Victoria Children’s Hospital – they did an amazing job helping my son beat meningitis’s ass!
“I got messages of support from a member of Meningitis Now and it made me feel that if I needed any help at all it was there for me. I always worry if he cries that it may be coming back, but I live each day as it comes with my two healthy children.”