When baby Joel began to run a temperature on 16 December 2003, concerned mother, Kirbbi Bucknall, took him to see her midwife
The next 24 hours were crucial. She tells her story here:
“My son Joel contracted meningitis at five days old due to me being a Group B strep carrier which I didn't know at the time."
“From birth, Joel was not feeding properly. I noticed he had begun to develop a temperature when he went for his daily check with the midwife. She weighed him and he'd lost 17% of his body weight."
“We rushed him straight to hospital where it was confirmed he had contracted bacterial meningitis and septicaemia. We were told that the next 24 hours were crucial and would decide his fate. He would either respond to the antibiotics or be dead. I was heartbroken."
“Luckily he is a fighter and pulled through. Joel was in intensive care for five weeks and has suffered some special needs as a result of the disease. I am so grateful; he came off lightly considering what could have happened."
“Since contracting meningitis he had to have a halo fitted for two and a half months and at two-years-old he underwent a spine operation."
“We are so lucky he is still with us and is the happiest and most smiley boy I have ever known!”