Six-year-old Layla Rose Ermenekli tragically died after contracting meningitis in 2017. Last year, an inquest ruled that her death could have been avoided
Now, marking two years since Layla passed away, mum Kirsty, from Oldham, tells the story of that awful night in her own words.
“On the morning of 3 February, Layla went off to school, skipping in happy and smiling, saying "Bye Mum!” to me."
“But at 3.30pm, my mum phoned me from work saying Layla was unwell, complaining of a headache and a bellyache, that she wouldn’t walk home because she was tired and her legs were aching. My mum gave her some Calpol as she said Layla felt warm. She also told me that her teacher had said she had felt unwell from 2.30pm and just sat outside watching her friends play."
“I told my mum I’d be home soon, and to keep me updated in case she got any worse. Apparently, Layla then slept up until I got home around 6pm. She did feel warm, and kept telling me her head ached and her belly ached and kept saying, “Huggle me Nanna, huggle me, hold me there, hold me there”, pointing to her belly, as my mum had her on her knee."
“I took Layla home with her brother Emre and sister Melika. My brother carried her to the taxi as she wasn’t well at all so as soon as I got her home I checked her temperature – it was 40.8!"
“In worry, I confided in my dancing friends, who said give her ibuprofen and strip her down. At this point I still wasn’t thinking it was anything serious, I was thinking along the lines of a water infection or something. I was actually more worried about her having convulsions with her temperature being so high, so only left it for half an hour before I checked her temperature again."
Didn’t like the look of her
“It had only gone down to 40.1 so then I called 111 for advice but was put on hold for half an hour. I still really didn’t like the look of her though so asked my sister to take me to A&E. When I got there, 111 phoned back and said they would advise me to take her to A&E – I said well, I’m already here!"
“When I was on the phone to 111 they had me checking out everything, asking me questions – and I told them at this stage she didn’t have any marks or rashes on her body, nothing. So when we got to A&E they took us into triage, then put me back into the waiting room and asked me to get a water sample – which was hard work because she wouldn’t wee!"
“They didn’t tell me the results of the triage at this point, just said her temperature had gone to 38.6 now which was still high and we now know was leading to meningococcal septicaemia and should have been red flagged, but they put us back in the waiting room."
“Layla slept for a little bit but then she woke up and said she felt ok, that she was hungry and wanted to go home. But then shortly after that she started saying she was hot again, or cold again."
“Nurses checked her temperature again, and it was still 38.6. A doctor checked her again later that night but started saying it was just a water infection, that she was dehydrated, that it was a viral infection… they said we could go home but I said I knew there was something wrong with Layla, I just didn’t know what at that point. He said he didn’t think it was too serious but the nurse said she wasn’t happy with her and asked for a paediatric doctor to come and have a look."
“The paediatric doctor came and checked her over and looked at her body. He saw the rash and asked whether she had banged herself and I said no, she had been on the bed all night. The doctor asked whether it had been there when the first doctor checked and I said not that I had noticed. Later I found this doctor had challenged the first doctor about the rash who had said yes, it had been there before but that it was nothing to worry about, it was just a bruise. The paediatric doctor sent her upstairs on to the observation ward anyway."
“Not long after this she started to get more lethargic and then really agitated and saying that she needed a wee, she was shouting and then not long after the doctor came in."
More of a rash
“The doctor looked at Layla’s body and saw there was more of a rash, he asked whether the rash had been there previously and I said no, it was just a little on her belly before, so they moved her to another room where her breathing started to go funny."
“They tried to get a cannula in but were really struggling to get any fluid into her and within a matter of half an hour she had deteriorated to the extent that they needed to put her in the high dependency unit. More and more doctors were coming in, but she continued to deteriorate and within an hour that night on 4 February she had a cardiac arrest and was never revived, even though they tried for over an hour."
“I had been getting worried for a while before this happened but at no point did they say it was meningitis, meningococcal septicaemia or anything like that, nor did they say it was quite serious, you need to get her dad there... it just all happened so quick we never had a chance to say goodbye. One moment she was looking at me and giving a little smile, and then she just went and all I can picture from that night is them trying to resuscitate her. That night this awful disease took my baby away from us and Layla’s dad hates the fact that he wasn’t there at that moment they tried to resuscitate her."
Didn't even have a chance
“We all miss Layla so much; Melika has lost her best friend, the sister she used to dance with and who she went to school with every day. We all miss her, and it just breaks my heart that she didn’t even have a chance to fight it, that it took her so quickly. It also upsets me that I didn’t know the symptoms properly and if I had I might have been able to fight the doctors properly."
“In all my heart I thought the doctors knew what they were doing but they didn’t. If she’d been treated sooner, the coroner said they wouldn’t have missed the Golden Hour and she might have had a chance.”