Frazer's story

1st March 2012

In March 2012, Leila gave birth to her son Frazer. Seven days later, he contracted viral meningitis

Frazer

Leila, 27, from Gloucester, had experienced a normal pregnancy and Frazer was born a healthy weight.

When he was a week old, Frazer awoke at 2am and Leila felt that something ‘wasn't right’. The mum-of-three said: "I couldn't put my finger on it but the way he was crying made me feel uncomfortable."

In the morning, Frazer had noticeably changed from quiet and content; to restless with a high pitched cry and a rising temperature. He had also developed a strong startle reflex, becoming jumpy when Leila walked past his Moses basket. Leila said: "All these things just came out of the blue overnight."

Sent to hospital

Leila contacted the doctor's surgery and arranged the earliest appointment she could, which was 4pm. As the day wore on, she became more and more worried so she telephoned the birthing unit. She says "Speaking to a midwife, I felt as though I was being paranoid so I waited for my 4pm appointment. As soon as I saw the doctor, she acted straight away. I felt frightened as she would not tell me what was wrong, only that she was contacting the hospital and that I needed to go there immediately."

While at the hospital, Frazer underwent a number of blood tests and a lumbar puncture. Leila found this very upsetting, "he was so small and had to be held down."

The results of the lumbar puncture revealed that Frazer had contracted meningitis but the doctors were not sure whether it was bacterial or viral. He was given antibiotics and he and Leila stayed in the hospital for three days. He was given a head scan to check for swelling on the brain but no evidence of this was found. After responding well to the antibiotics and an agonising wait for the test results, it was eventually confirmed that Frazer had viral meningitis. As he showed no signs of further problems, the two were sent home.

Trust your instincts

Since then, Frazer has developed well. He has had some tests on his hearing but has so far shown no signs of long-term after-effects. Leila now hopes that other parents will learn from her story and listen to their instincts. "The staff at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital were fantastic" says Leila, "they told me that a main factor for Frazer's quick recovery was that I acted so fast. If I had waited another day before getting him seen things may have been very different. I wanted to help others by telling my story, so I went online and found Meningitis Now. I am so grateful of the work they do to raise awareness of meningitis, I want to help in any way I can so that no one has to go through what I went through."