My son Charlie has just turned 3. It is a very hard time of year for us and difficult for me to share as this time three years ago, when he was just a few days old he was diagnosed with meningitis. My heart was broken and if it wasn't for the amazing doctors at Norfolk and Norwich hospital I don't think my little monkey would be with me now. We spent the first month of Charlie’s life in hospital, attempting to create normality in a far from normal environment. He had blood test after blood test, and several lumbar punctures as his body was so tiny it was difficult to get the needle into his spine.
Holding his hand, but helpless
I was sat there watching him, holding his hand but helpless, not knowing what, if anything, I could do to help my defenceless baby. Even feeding him proved to be troublesome as he was only able to feed from the breast for ten minutes at a time to reserve his energy but needed enough fluids to flush the antibiotic through his system. The only element of his life I had control over was dressing him, though one of his arms couldn't be dressed as he had a cannula for his medicine. I took great delight in being able to get him ready for the day, despite the fact that we were going nowhere.
Every precious memory
Every little memory from these precious weeks will be treasured forever, especially the memories his tiny clothes hold. This led to a dilemma when he outgrew those special clothes. I couldn't possibly sell them, or give them away, and storing them wasn't an option either. So, I decided to take the plunge and cut them up, attempting to create a memory blanket. I was terrified it would be a disaster, but after hours and hours of hard work, and a few tears, I had transformed his precious clothes into a blanket he could keep forever. He has slept with it every night since.
I am very lucky my son is perfectly healthy, though I still have flashbacks. His special blanket has helped to bring closure to a traumatic event in our lives. With my son as my inspiration I want to pass the wonderful treasure of blankets full of memories to families all over the UK. I have created a small business from home which will also help to support Meningitis Now.