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William F-W's story

10th March 2017

Christmas was a busy and frantic time and when 18-month-old William was off colour the next day mum Melanie, from Buxton in Derbyshire, initially put it down to excitement. But when his symptoms moved from just stomach ache, to sickness, tiredness and eventually being floppy and grey she knew it was more serious. She tells their story here

William F-W's story

“Christmas 2006 passed with so much excitement and chaos as William’s second Christmas. All the food and presents left us all shattered.

“On Boxing Day William was quiet and had tummy ache. Initially we put this down to all the excitement the day before. However, then Will started being sick and was very sleepy. The GP who saw him suspected it was just a tummy bug but wanted to see him the next day if he was no better. Will was no better overnight and his symptoms continued.

“We went back to the GP who again thought it was still a bug but wanted to see him again the following day. That night William continued to be sick and was taking small amounts of water. When we saw the GP the following day he wasn’t happy to send him home again and wanted him checking at hospital.

Grey and floppy

“The hospital was 20 minutes away and I noticed during the journey that his feet were cold. By the time we arrived at the hospital William had become grey and was floppy and drowsy. He was taken straight off me and immediately put on IV antibiotics. The words meningitis and lumbar puncture were mentioned; as a family we were just numb.

“William had a lumbar puncture and bloods, which revealed he had haemophilus influenza type F and septicaemia. At no stage of his illness did he develop a rash. The hospital had only ever seen one other case of this, which was in an adult, and therefore didn’t have a lot of information.

“William responded well to medication and after a week we went home, with the community nurse visiting to administer his antibiotics. After two days of being home we noticed William was listing to one side a little and the nurse wanted him checking up in hospital.

Black from bruising

“We were readmitted and following a couple of small fits a brain scan revealed swelling on William’s brain. If this did not go down it would need to be drained. However, thankfully, it did. William’s cannulas kept falling out and his little arms were black from the bruising.

“William passed all of his checks post meningitis and is doing well now. We have recently found out he has dyspraxia though, which has probably been caused by his meningitis although this is not certain. A couple of years ago William decided he wanted to raise awareness and money for Meningitis Now. He did talks at school, a coffee morning and a table top sale followed by climbing Pen-Y-Fan, raising an amazing £1,000.

“We knew something wasn’t right, and our GP listened to us. He rang the hospital every day to check on William. Without a doubt if it hadn’t been for the doctor and hospital acting so fast we would so sadly be one of the devastating statistics now. The hospital told us that another 20 minutes and we would have lost our beautiful William.”