Jonah's story

30th November 2019

Donna’s young son Jonah had a bulging soft spot, high fever, was off his food and drink, was screaming when being lifted or touched, couldn't look at lights and was very sleepy

Jonah's bacterial meningitis case study

He was admitted to hospital where speedy treatment helped him to recover. Jonah is now 5 years old and never stops smiling, as Donna, from Kilkeel in County Down, tells us here.

“Jonah was just 8 months old and had been at the GPs a week prior to admission to hospital. He was on an antibiotic for tonsillitis, but then things took a turn for the worse. I noticed some symptoms that were very alarming, so I took him back to his GP, who then rang Daisy Hill Hospital. Over those next five hours whilst we were up there Jonah started going downhill quickly. His fever wasn't coming down; he was in and out of drowsiness; his soft spot was still rising and he was screaming in pain."

“They did checks and found no sign of any obvious infection, so went ahead and down the lumbar puncture test path. We were admitted and put into isolation and Jonah was started on iv antibiotics for bacterial meningitis."

Results positive for meningitis 

“The next morning two consultants came in to me and told me the results were positive for meningitis. I went into shock and couldn't believe it. I always thought until the rash appeared that's how you would know - now I know it's the last thing to appear. Jonah developed one spot whilst in hospital but luckily enough he was already on iv antibiotics for 45 minutes each day."

“We were one week in isolation and I can never thank Daisy Hill enough for the quick and urgent treatment they gave Jonah. Without their quick response and his GP things may have been very different. The public health team were notified and myself and my daughter were also treated. They were fantastic and sent me a lot of information as well."

Worst experience of my life

“It was without a doubt the worst experience of my life - I still to this day remember it. Seeing what your child was going through is something I will never forget, but I'm glad that Jonah won't remember any of it. He is without a doubt a fighter and I'm so proud of him and what he's had to come through then and now. All I can say to any parent is know all the signs and symptoms because it saves lives."

“Six months after the meningitis Jonah had neuro-developmental regression. He's had a lot of early intervention and seeing all the relevant professionals has helped and supported him with his complex needs. He is now 5 years old and is thriving every day. He is in the mainstream at school with all the right help and support. He gets to lead a normal life like any other child. He is such a happy wee boy who never stops smiling.”

“I am so proud of him – he’s my little superhero.”

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