We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website For more information about the types of cookies we use, visit our Cookies policy and manage your preferences.


Taylor’s story

13th April 2015

When Sophia Avery, from Maldon in Essex, gave birth to her second child Taylor in 2008 he was left fighting for his life with meningitis

Taylor’s story

Fortunately he survived and now Sophia is determined to raise awareness and funds to fight the disease. She tells their story here.

“I was pregnant with Taylor and went into labour at home. We got to St John's Hospital in Chelmsford by ambulance and were taken into the labour ward. I was in labour for 16 hours. My waters had broken and they decided to rush me down for a c-section.

Taylor was born at 4.18pm and 20 minutes later the midwives rushed him off, saying that he was grunting and needed to see a doctor quickly. I went into a panic, demanding to see him. After one hour of waiting they took me down to the neonatal ward, where Taylor was. My baby was puffed out all over his body with tubes everywhere - hands, feet, belly button, a vent helping him breathe! The doctors couldn’t get Taylor stable for over 12 hours; he was fighting for his life.

Once Taylor was stable doctors told me he had an infection but they didn't know what infection. They needed to do more tests and a lumbar puncture. I immediately asked how Taylor got this infection and the doctors explained it was either during my pregnancy or my water breaking and being left for a while.

Two days later the lumbar puncture results came back and they found fluid on Taylor’s spine. Doctors then treated Taylor for bacterial meningitis and two weeks later we were able to take him home.

We had only one follow up appointment at St John’s Hospital, when Taylor was six months old. A doctor checked him head to toe, moving his arms and legs and head and body. The doctor said Taylor had been very lucky to suffer no physical after-effects that were apparent and was happy to discharge him.

We are so lucky and extremely happy that Taylor is alive and well and has survived bacterial meningitis."

Still suffering after-effects

“Now Taylor is six years and eight months old, but he is still suffering from the after-effects of meningitis, such as learning difficulties, concentration difficulties and attention (memory). He also has some sensory issues and some behavioural issues. This is mostly mild, but showing more signs as Taylor gets older.

Throughout the years of nursery and school doctors have shown little help or support for Taylor having survived meningitis and they seem unaware of the after-effects of the disease. However, from April this year, the NHS is being far more supportive than previously and helping Taylor.

Now I have researched the best I can and have found the Meningitis Now charity. I really want to raise awareness of meningitis and its after-effects and help to donate as much as I can, to help the charity research as much as they possibly can and help other parents, children and adults.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read Taylor’s story and I hope you too can help me raise awareness and donate to this incredible charity. Keep a look out on Facebook, where we will keep you posted on the events Taylor and I will be taking part in to help raise money.

One event will be the Royal Parks Foundation Half-Marathon on Sunday, October 11, which goes through four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.”