Emily shares their story in her own words:
“My daughter Polly was just 27 days old, when she contracted meningitis in July 2016.
“She woke up unsettled and grumpy, which I thought was probably down to wind making her a bit uncomfortable. As the day progressed every time I moved her she would cry and I could not settle her.
“I took her for a walk in her pushchair and every bump I would go over she would wince and cry. I rang my husband saying that Polly seemed to be irritable and I was quite worried about her.
“Later that day we went to our friend’s house and seeing how unsettled she was we decided to take her home early. She cried the whole way back which took about 40 minutes and when I took her out of the car she seemed extremely hot.
“I took a layer of clothing off of her to cool her down, but this didn’t seem to work. I took her temperature which was 38.6 degrees, which as a nurse I knew was very high for a young baby.
Getting medical help
“We called NHS 111 who advised us to contact our
surgery, who called us back and advised us to take Polly to A&E although
there might not be anything to worry about.
“When we arrived at the hospital we were taken to the children’s ward and within 20 minutes they had taken Polly away to perform a lumbar puncture, and test her blood and urine.
“An hour later they had started her on antibiotics as precaution while we waited for her test results. At 2 o’clock in the morning, a doctor came in and told us that her lumbar puncture had contained lots of white cells and they were starting her on treatment for bacterial meningitis.
“We stayed with Polly for an agonising two weeks in hospital. Her test results all came back negative so we were unable to find out what type of bacterial meningitis she had.
Gradually getting better
“But the most important thing for us was that she was gradually getting better. With each day she improved a little bit more and slowly she was returning back to the little girl she was before her illness.
“We were told we would need to get her hearing tested, and that after being discharged she might have problems caused by the meningitis and the treatment she had received.
“After she was discharged she was tested and they couldn’t find any lasting after-effects. We feel so incredibly lucky and grateful every day that our beautiful daughter beat this terrible disease with no lasting effects and can grow up playing with her sister Millie.”