"Saturday 6th August 2005 was a day that started like any other. However, at around 2pm Dylan woke from his afternoon nap with a fever and he vomited."
"He was off colour over the next couple of hours and just wanted to be held and cuddled. By bath time his temperature had dropped. He played with his sister, ran around the house as usual and later on watched bedtime TV. He enjoyed his Noddy story at around 7pm and then we put him to bed. We felt he was over the worst, and would be back to his normal self by the morning."
"At 10pm we checked on the children before going to bed, in our usual manner. About a month previously, Dylan had been taken to A&E with a temperature, and we had observed how the nurses stripped him to his nappy and gave him a dose of Calpol to control his temperature. So, on the 6th August, when we found that Dylan was running a temperature again, we followed their actions and put him on top of the duvet – between Surj and I – so that we could monitor him throughout the night."
Gone so fast
"By midnight, Dylan was sleeping with his temp falling again. A good sign we thought. By 1am our son had died. Our world was in turmoil.
"Throughout the day Dylan displayed no rash – we checked for this thoroughly at bath time and again when we put him to bed. In fact, Dylan didn’t display any of the common symptoms of meningitis, such as a stiff neck or joint pain – he was running around with his sister straight after bath time.
"It took six weeks to find out that the cause of Dylan's death was meningococcal septicaemia, because at the time of his death two doctors diagnosed different causes, which meant we had to have a post mortem.
We never knew that meningitis could strike so quickly and in such a devastating way, until Dylan's death. All of our children had their vaccines and booster jabs and you just think that they will be protected from all major life threatening illnesses, but this isn't the case at all.
"It has been a horrific and tragic time for all the family. You have to keep going, you have to get out of bed every day and continue to survive, the other option is to give up completely, and we have had to be much stronger than that for the sake of each other."
Support and help
"The whole family needed support and guidance after Dylan's death. I did some research on the web to see how we could get more support and information to help us come to terms with losing Dylan. When I read about the history of Meningitis Now and how it had been set up by Steve Dayman – a father who had moved forward after the loss of his own son, who had found a purpose and a definite course of action – I just felt that they would really understand our pain.
"Dylan touched so many people's hearts and will never ever be forgotten. He was one in a million. He bought a lot of joy into our lives, and we have so many memories of him. The way he was always smiling, happy and contented; his cheeky grin and his beautiful big brown eyes.
"Our family now shares Meningitis Now’s vision and we are committed to do whatever we can to support their work. We hope and pray that Meningitis Now is successful, before too long, in their ongoing efforts in finding a vaccine."