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Tommy's story

11th November 2014

In March 2012 Tommy Brown contracted the B strain of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. The disease was so ferocious and widespread that he was given only a 5 per cent chance of survival. He defied the odds, but was left with multiple amputations

Tommy's story

5 per cent chance of survival

"At 5am, Tommy woke up burning hot and very croaky, so I sponged him down like I was told to. By 8am, Tommy was awake again and a purple blotchy rash had started to appear on his body. I took him straight to my GP, crying my eyes out, and when the doctor opened the door he took one look at Tommy and told me to phone an ambulance straight away."

Touch and go

"The doctor took Tommy from me and into a room. I collapsed. When I finally went in to him the doctor told me that my beautiful baby boy had meningitis and was in a bad way.

Tommy was rushed to the A&E at Walsall Manor Infirmary where they worked for several hours to stabilise him and my boy technically died and had to be revived. He was then transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary but after getting there we were told that he needed to be moved again because his kidneys had shut down. Tommy was three times his normal size, and he had turned black.

We were moved to Glenfield Hospital where Tommy was put onto dialysis and was given 13 different drugs. He was sedated all along, and we were told that he was going to lose all four of his limbs and that he only had a 5 per cent chance of survival.

Tommy was christened and underwent a fasciotomy [a surgical procedure to relieve pressure to the limbs]. He remained in Glenfield Hospital’s P.I.C.U (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) until Mother’s Day when he was transferred to Birmingham City University P.I.C.U."

A little fighter

"On 22 March Tommy had the operation to remove all of his right hand, all of his left fingers and both of his legs below the knee. Later on, however, Tommy had to lose his right knee as it was not healing.

My beautiful little Tommy is amazing. Doctors say it’s a miracle that he survived and with no brain damage. They told us that they had never known a child so poorly survive so many amputations so young.

It makes me cry to see Tommy alert and looking about, then looking at where his hands and legs used to be, as if he is wondering where they are. It was so painful to see him suffer and go through the operations but he is remarkable and superb at adapting – we’re very lucky to still have our beautiful boy.

We strongly support the Beat it Now! campaign as we don’t want anyone else to go through what we have – it still impacts on us now and will for life. The Government needs to act and put this vaccine on the NHS immediately. It will save so many lives and stop others from suffering like Tommy."