It was New Year's Eve 2012 and our new baby boy had been crying a lot and had a very high temperature for over two days. I thought he might have colic, as we had experienced a severe case of this the previous year with our daughter.
Something just didn’t seem right, so I decided to take Lewis to the GP. She immediately referred us to a doctor in the children's A&E and advised us not to wait around but to pack a bag and get there as soon as possible.
We were advised that due to his high temperature and age, Lewis would need to have a lumbar puncture and a cannula inserted. This was horrific, but it was only the start; as we would soon come to realise.
Within an hour we were put on a ward in a private room and told that they suspected Lewis had meningitis, but that it would normally take 48 hours see if the culture results were showing the bug.
The consultant came to see me at 9.45pm on that same night and gave me the devastating news; that Lewis had indeed got meningitis and that he would need a brain scan to check for brain damage in the next couple of days. Lewis was started on antibiotics straight away, but the consultant told us that we would have to wait for the scan results to see how far down the line he was with meningitis.
I felt as though my whole world, as I knew it, had changed. Never have I felt such devastation as I did that night. My partner, Paul, was at home with our other two children so I was alone, and in total shock as I just stared at my son. I couldn’t comprehend the not knowing about what the future would hold for my tiny baby. All I knew was that he was alive. We could deal with anything else, as long as Lewis was with us.
Relief all round
As the days passed, we were told that the results showed that the meningitis was the bacterial strain, not viral, but that there was no brain damage. Lewis had a further three scans to make sure, but thankfully all was fine.
When you’re faced with such news, it's amazing how ignorant you realise you are to the facts, before it hits you directly. Meningitis Now helped me understand what was happening to my son, how other parents coped and how they dealt with the after-effects; because the truth is we don't know yet if Lewis will have any after-effects as a result of this horrible illness. It is only as he grows that we will see.
After a week of being in hospital, Lewis was allowed to come home. His medication continued for a further two weeks, with a nurse coming every day to administer them.
Lewis is now the happiest baby; you would never know exactly how ill he was and how grateful I am every day that he made it. We found out afterwards it can be fatal very quickly.