Sadly our baby son Kadyn did not get to see his first Christmas.
All day Christmas Eve 2011, he was his normal, happy, smiley self, we'd played in the morning, then he went out with daddy to hand out Christmas gifts and cards while I prepared Christmas dinner for all the family.
When he came back he was still his happy self, but appeared a little tired. I sat on the sofa with him for cuddles before bath time, when he started being quite sick.
We called the doctor as the sickness continued. She told us to strip his clothes off to cool him down and give him Calpol. She would then call an hour later to see how he was doing.
When she called back, he seemed to be easing off and doing okay. Then the sickness got worse, it was like bile, and coming through his nose. He had two red spots by this time, but we did the tumbler test and passed.
I remember thinking it could be chicken pox, but he was getting very lethargic and still very sick. I decided A&E was the best option from here.
Rushed to hospital
Within 40 minutes of being in A&E, my baby had come out in the rash all over his body and the doctor had now confirmed my worst fears, my son had meningococcal septicaemia.
I remember the panic going through my mind, but also thinking it can’t be, he is looking directly at the lights. I heard the doctor tell me he was very sick, but he was going to look after him, he was going to be okay.
He had to be taken to theatre to help with his breathing. On the way he took a deep breath and called for me, something which now breaks my heart. I should never have let them take him without me.
We waited outside the whole time. I believed he was going to be okay, the doctor had told me he was going to be okay. At 2.20am Christmas morning the doctor gave me the devastating news that my baby could not be saved, he had done everything he could. I remember falling to the floor in disbelief. Was I a bad mum? What had I done wrong?
Friends and family came to the hospital but I didn't notice anyone. I could hear the nurses and doctors crying too, but I just held my baby in my arms for an eternity, the very little life that had completed mine, gone.
The staff at the hospital were very kind and let us sit with him as and when we wanted and just being with him made me feel at ease. I remember asking him 'please baby take me with you'.
Laying him to rest was the hardest day of my life. It was a beautiful service with some words I'd put together, but it doesn't ease the pain and heartache.
We have a huge family and lots of friends, but none of their words or support helps.
Please make a donation and help us find a vaccine to eradicate meningitis forever.