Aria's Story

6th June 2017

6 week old Aria had been under the weather for a few days and then her temperature peaked at 39.5.

Aria

We went straight to Winchester hospital and within 30 minutes were sat up on the children's ward being seen by doctors and nurses.

As well as the fever, she'd also been grizzly, sleepy, off her milk and had started to let out a horrible loud cry. We were admitted straight away, and a blood test was taken along with checking her blood gas.

Before leaving for the hospital, I'd given Aria a small dose of Calpol to bring down her temperature. The doctor explained to me that, while being observed, if Aria's temperature went above 38 once the Calpol wears off, then she would be immediately taken for a lumbar puncture.

That night her temperature spiked and off she went to have the procedure. The initial results showed raised white cells indicating viral meningitis.

Shock

Even after all the symptoms and being admitted, I still found it a shock to be told that my little baby had contracted meningitis!

The doctor did a great job of reassuring me that it looked like she was doing a good job of fighting it already.

They sent her results away for a full septic screen to check it was definitely viral (rather than bacterial), and we would receive the results in 48 hours. In the meantime, they started giving her antibiotics as a precaution just in case it was bacterial.

Over the next few days Aria continued to be grizzly and very sleepy. She went off her milk so much that she had an NG feeding tube fitted so she didn't become dehydrated and kept up her strength. She was clearly unhappy and uncomfortable but her temperature was staying down of its own accord.

Viral meningitis

After a few days, the screening results from her lumbar puncture came back as clear - confirming viral meningitis. She started taking more of her milk without the need for her feeding tube, and with everything going well we were able to go home.

The care and compassion we received while being in hospital was outstanding. Every single person we came into contact with; whether a doctor, nurse, health care support worker or nursery nurse - filled me with absolute confidence that Aria was getting the best possible care.

They were also great at explaining what was happening and very reassuring. I'm so grateful to them for what they've done. Hearing the word 'meningitis' is scary, but it could've been so much worse.

  • Leo

    Leo's story

    The next 48 hours were critical. My baby could die

  • Grace

    Grace's story

    I mentally started ticking off all of Grace's symptoms thinking how similar they were to meningitis

  • Luka

    Luka's story

    It had been snowing outside but even with the windows open and Luka just wearing a vest he was still hot to touch

  • Lennon

    Lennon's story

    Lennon was very weak for weeks after being sent home from hospital