Leo was born six weeks early. He became ill on Christmas Eve and needed surgery for a strangulated hernia. He returned home and all seemed well but, at the end of January when he was 14-weeks-old, he was grizzly and had a high temperature. Mum Leanne, from Bargoed in Glamorgan, takes up the story
“Leo was born six weeks early and spent two weeks in SCBU. On leaving he became ill on Christmas Eve and he was admitted to hospital. Leo had a strangulated hernia and needed emergency surgery.
“We left hospital on Boxing Day and, apart from him being very small, all was well
“It was on the 29th January 2013 that he woke and had a temperature and was very grizzly. He had a raised soft spot, would not feed and was very sleepy and hard to wake. I spent the day worrying, putting it down to a cold or virus, but with him having previous health problems I started to panic.
“My partner arrived home that evening and I contacted my GP, who said bring him straight up. At this point he was still burning up and wasn’t feeding. His cry was high pitched and not normal at all.
Straight to hospital
“The doctor told us to go straight to hospital as he was not very well at all but he was unsure what it could be. Hospital staff were waiting for us and samples of urine and blood were taken. Hours went by and they had no answers at all, but they wanted to do a lumbar puncture.
“They advised me not to go in and they took Leo away. I had no idea what was going on and waited what seemed like hours. But within a few minutes the doctor delivered the news that Leo was being treated for meningitis and the next 48 hours were critical. My baby could die.
“He was put into HDU at the Royal Gwent and I’ll never forget what I saw. I felt helpless and knew my son was extremely poorly. He was put onto antibiotics and after 24 hours we moved onto the ward.
“It took a while for the results of the strain but after three days we were told he had meningococcal septicaemia.
Going from strength to strength
“He went from strength to strength and the staff were amazed. After 10 days we left hospital. It was the best day of my life. He has just stopped having check-ups and he’s been given the all clear. He’s happy and healthy. We are very lucky to have such a strong beautiful boy.
“Leo had no rash at all - it shows it’s not just a rash but can be many other symptoms.
“A family friend recommended Meningitis Now to me and I got in touch. They helped me get through the toughest time of our lives.”