In October 2012, five-week old Esmé woke up in the morning and was looking very poorly. Her worried mum, Amy, sensed something was seriously wrong, and rushed her to hospital
Woke up looking poorly
Her condition deteriorated and Esmé was soon diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia. Amy shares her nightmare.
Esmé provided me with a very difficult pregnancy. A number of hospital admissions, a near delivery at 30 weeks and an emergency C-Section a week before it was planned! Esmé arrived at 37 weeks suffering breathing difficulties which required nine days in the Special Care Baby Unit.
When Esmé was five weeks old to the day, we awoke at 7am to find her looking poorly. She was unresponsive, groaning, and her head was twisted looking up to the right and she wouldn’t move from this position. I tried to breastfeed her, but she wasn’t interested. It didn’t even enter my mind that she could have meningitis. I was more concerned that there was something ongoing from her time spent in special care.
A mother’s instinct
I checked her temperature and it was normal. I checked her for a rash – nothing. But I knew something was seriously wrong, so I rushed her to A&E myself, and was there by 8am.
At the hospital, Esmé’s condition grew worse and she began having seizures. Once she was stabilised, she was transferred from our local hospital which is the Queen Elizabeth Gateshead, to the Great North Children’s Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
The day after Esmé was taken ill she was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia. She spent five days in the paediatric intensive care unit, and was sedated and ventilated for three of these days.
Home at last
After a total of 21 days treatment in hospital, Esmé was allowed to go home as she was making an excellent recovery.Her follow-up appointments for ophthalmology and audiology have proven very positive and there appears to be no lasting damage to her hearing. She has been weaned off the medication that was prescribed for the seizures, and so far there’s no sign of them re-occurring.
Now, at eight months old, Esmé is a very happy and bubbly little girl. She loves laughing with her older sister Isobel, aged 3, and she appears to be hitting her milestones as any other baby does.
I’m taking part in the Great North Run with four other ladies in a group called ‘Mums on the Run’ to raise money for Meningitis Now. I’m also holding a Toddle Waddle through a local nursery. Just knowing they are there has been a great help through this ordeal so I want to help them in any way I can.