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Shae's story

3rd June 2015

Connie’s son Shae, aged 3, was his normal, happy self when she put him to bed one evening, but the next day he was lethargic and sleepy

Shae's story

To her horror Connie noticed two purple spots on his back.

Shae was rushed to hospital, but just hours later the brave youngster lost his battle to meningitis B and septicaemia. Connie recounts their story here.

“Shae was his normal hyper happy self on the day of 13th April 2014. I settled him down for bed as usual and carried on with my evening, watching the soaps. Shae awoke at 11:00pm being sick, so I changed him and his bedding and put him back to bed. He woke again and vomited, so I put him into a lukewarm bath, where he wanted to stay for a while.

When we got out the bath I settled him back into bed and gave him some Calpol. I got into bed next to Shae and cuddled him asleep. He slept all night until I woke up at 6:50am to go and check on my other son, Harvey, who was 7-months-old at the time.

When I carried Shae into my room, so I could be with both of them, he whimpered in pain and was not himself. He was lethargic and sleepy. As I lay him on my bed I noticed two purple spots on his back. Instantly panic ran through my body. I pressed the spots to see if they would disappear but to my horror they didn’t.

I rang for my mum, screaming down the phone that Shae had meningitis. My mum said she was on her way - luckily they only live minutes around the corner - and I rang for an ambulance. Mum and dad arrived and could see that Shae was very poorly. It took some time for a fast response car to turn up. The paramedic started to treat Shae. He called code red on his radio and a short while later the ambulance turned up."

He’s with the best people possible

“My mum carried Shae downstairs and outside. I was thinking ‘how is this happening to me, not my little boy, please’, but thinking he's with the best people possible.

We were blue lighted with sirens to the hospital. When we arrived Shae was placed on a bed and doctors and nurses swarmed in and starting hooking him up to machines and pushing bags of fluid into him.

My world was crashing down on me, having to see my little boy going through all this. We were told to leave the room while they hooked Shae up to a ventilator. When I returned to Shae he looked pale, his lips were dry and he looked so poorly. I felt so helpless - why me? Why him? That's all I could think about.

They prepared to transfer Shae to Cardiff University Hospital of Wales. He was then transferred into the adults’ intensive care unit as the Royal Gwent Newport Hospital doesn't have a child's intensive care unit.

When my partner Dom and I were allowed to go and see Shae again they explained that he looked very different now. He was swollen and having heart massage. I thought they would be rubbing his chest but they were violently resuscitating him. He was purple from head to toe and so swollen, hooked up to all these beeping machines and doctors working around the clock to save him."

My life was crashing before my eyes

“My life was crashing before my eyes - I just couldn't believe what was happening. I gave Shae a kiss, told him I loved him and ran out. A nurse who was looking after us told me to go back and see him as they had stopped working on him and that his heart had stabilised. When I returned, they were doing it all again.

I waited outside his room, where I heard all the machines going off. Then it suddenly went quiet and I knew. I said ‘he's gone, my little boy is gone’.

It was the worst day of my life. We lost Shae in just four hours. Nothing could ever prepare me for having to deal with losing Shae. I miss him so much, he was the most loving, caring, adorable little boy ever and the best big brother. I never thought it would happen to me but it did and I want to raise awareness so it doesn't have to happen to another person like me.

It's changed my life forever. If I can help save another life I'll be happy that they haven't got to suffer like me and all the other mummies and daddies out there that, like me, haven't been lucky.

Meningitis Now has helped me in so many ways and given me and my family brilliant support. I'm ever so grateful for the financial support grant that we had from them for Shae’s headstone - without them it wouldn't have been possible. It’s a charity very close to my heart.

We will be getting Harvey vaccinated privately soon with the meningitis B vaccine and my niece, who is a similar age to Shae, has also had the vaccine privately.”