Elliot's story

12th February 2015

Elliott fell ill at just seven weeks old, when a rash covered his body in just four minutes. The drama unfolded on the day of his mum Louisa's work Christmas party. She believes that had she not checked on him after the party then he might have been dead by the morning


Louisa, from Keighley in West Yorkshire, said: "Elliott had been very lethargic during the day and hadn't been to the toilet. When I got home from the party his temperature had rocketed to 39.9 degrees.

"I checked for a rash because my sister had meningitis nine years previously - but there wasn't one. I knew something wasn't right so called the out-of-hours helpline. A nurse called back to assess the situation and I checked for a rash again."

Rash developed quickly

"This time I discovered that three little spots had appeared. The rash developed so quickly and within four minutes he was covered in about 1,000 spots from neck to toe. It was horrific."

Louisa says most of the spots disappeared when pressed with a glass, which is not usually the case when meningitis causes septicaemia, a form of blood poisoning.

With her husband Robin, they dashed to hospital with Elliott, where he was pumped full of antibiotics.

Lumbar puncture results came back negative for meningitis but subsequent tests confirmed he had the meningococcal septicaemia infection, which occurs when meningococcal bacteria enter the blood stream and multiply uncontrollably, poisoning the blood and completely overwhelming the immune system.

Thankfully, Elliott slowly began to get better and was allowed home after seven days in hospital on antibiotics. Louisa, 30, says that had she not trusted her mother's instinct then Elliott might not have pulled through and made such a good recovery.

"Doctors said that had we not got to the hospital when we did then Elliott wouldn't be here today," she said.

"We feel so unbelievably lucky that it was caught in time, especially having read about children who haven't pulled through or have lost limbs."

Elliott has just started walking and the doctors have called him a "superstar baby".

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