Heather and her husband have been left with anxiety after their son Joshua recovered from bacterial meningitis – a common outcome for parents whose babies fall ill. Heather, from Holytown in Lanarkshire, told us their story
“Joshua was discharged from hospital at four weeks old in June 2019. We were so happy to have him home with his twin brother. When he was discharged, he was only 3lb 8oz."
“One week after coming home Joshua was very unsettled, he had a high-pitched cry and I was getting worried about him. We were given an out of hours appointment, I was told he was fine and just to expect this from a newborn baby. I left the appointment feeling relieved and thought as a first time mum I was over reacting."
“A few days later Joshua had not improved, he was now not feeding and I couldn't shake the feeling something was wrong. That evening Joshua was breathing very quickly. I contacted out of hours again, they sent an ambulance as he was struggling to breathe. He was given oxygen in the ambulance."
“On arrival at hospital his temperature was 38.5 and he was very upset. The paediatric doctor explained he would like to do a lumbar puncture to rule out meningitis. I remember thinking there was no way he could have meningitis. Joshua started antibiotics that night and the following morning the consultant explained he had bacterial meningitis. I was so shocked this had happened and I was worried about what this would mean for Joshua."
“I remember feeling so lucky we had taken him to hospital when we did, the thought of him deteriorating more at home is very upsetting and we could have had a very different outcome. It is so important to trust your own instincts."
“We were very lucky to catch Joshua's meningitis early and after two weeks in hospital he made a full recovery. At seven months old now he is happy and thriving. But my husband and I are now very anxious when either of our twins are unwell. Joshua contracting meningitis showed us it can really happen to anyone and sometimes the symptoms can be non specific which could be easily mistaken for something else."