Jamie's story

8th January 2021

Virginia’s one-year-old son Jamie was sleepy and developed a rash, but doctors missed these signs of meningitis, delaying the youngster’s admission to hospital

Jamie bacterial meningitis case study

Jamie had contracted meningococcal septicaemia and sadly died soon after arriving at hospital in May 1988. Virginia, from Northallerton in North Yorkshire, tells their story here.

“My son Jamie woke up as usual in the morning but just didn't seem his normal self. I gave him a bottle which made him sick and put him back to sleep.

“A few hours later he was still sleepy, so I went to see my doctor, who gave me Calpol and sent me home. In the afternoon Jamie was still sleeping. He had a rash and was not eating, so I went back to the doctors.

“He said he was fine and it was just a heat rash and made me feel that I was just being a fussy mother.

Spent the day sleeping

“I went back home and Jamie spent the day sleeping. Later on, at about 5pm, I noticed he had what looked like bruises on his face, so I went to my friend’s and told her. She said to ring the doctors again.

“I did and the doctor came out and an ambulance turned up. They gave Jamie an injection and rushed him to hospital.

“I was then told a few hours later he had meningitis, but at the time I had never heard of it. I didn't worry as they said he would stay in hospital for up to two weeks and be fine.

Went downhill quickly

“Alas, he went downhill quickly and after a blood transfusion they informed me he was dying. He died a few hours later.

“I found out when I got his death certificate what he had died from and it wasn't till many years later I learnt more about it.

“It still hurts now that no-one knew what he had and couldn't help us earlier on, especially when I see others who have survived. But I also hope that he died to teach others the signs early on.”

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