Lauren S's story

27th August 2015

Despite her concerns, worried mother Lesley Swift, 26, was unable to get a doctor to visit her seven-year-old daughter, Lauren

Miss Swift trusted her motherly instincts and called an ambulance, an action which could have saved her daughter’s life.

“Lauren was a happy healthy seven-year-old, running around playing with her friends. In June last year she came home from school with chicken pox. She couldn't eat and didn’t want to play."

“After nine days of having chicken pox she finally began getting back to herself, eating and playing again. Just when I thought she was getting better, she woke up the next morning with a terrible headache that just wouldn't go."

“I tried all weekend to get a doctor to come and see Lauren as the headache was getting worse and I couldn't take her to the GP because of her chicken pox."

“By Monday, Lauren had been suffering with the headache for three days non-stop, she was sleepy and had a temperature, but the doctor still wouldn't come out. I knew something just wasn't right so I called for an ambulance.”

From bad to worse

“Lauren had a CT scan and was placed in a high dependency unit with suspected meningitis. Her heart rate dipped all night."

“On Tuesday things went from bad to worse. Lauren just couldn't cope anymore. She was ventilated and transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital where she went straight into theatre to have an EVD inserted. It was confirmed that Lauren had meningitis."

“She was in intensive care for a few weeks before we found out it was a rare form of meningitis called listeria. It is very uncommon in a child of Lauren's age and she had developed hydrocephalus as a result.”

A long road to recovery

“Lauren spent a total of five months in hospital and has undergone six brain operations. She has had a VP shunt fitted and is now deaf in her right ear."

“Nearly a year later Lauren is finally getting her life back. She uses a wheelchair but she is slowly learning to walk again. Although she can't do all the things she used to, she's alive and that's all that matters.”

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