Oscar and Kate's story

16th August 2017

When my son Oscar was about 3 hours old he had started grunting. The Midwifery Care Assistant had come to check on us both to see if he was feeding and I told her he was laughing. She immediately took him from me and pressed the emergency button.

Oscar

Lots of midwives rushed in and his SATs were taken. They were about 45%.

He was resuscitated and an ambulance was called as we were at our local midwife led birthing centre. We were so lucky that an ambulance was already outside the hospital.

Whilst Oscar was being put into the incubator to travel in the ambulance my husband arrived from our home with the car seat. He had no idea what was happening.

We were not allowed to travel in the ambulance with Oscar. This was horrific as I had convinced myself that he would die in the ambulance without me.

When we got to the hospital the paramedic was just heading back to the ambulance and she kindly took us to NICU and assured me he was still alive.

He looked so fragile

When we got to NICU Oscar was on CPAP (to keep his breathing airways open), had intravenous drugs through a cannula, and had various wires attached to a monitor. He looked so fragile. A nurse took us to the relative’s room to explain what was happening.

The first few days were awful as we couldn't really touch Oscar as it caused him so much pain. All the staff were amazing though and very supportive to us.

On day three his infection rates were still increasing despite the IV antibiotics, so it was decided a lumber puncture would be done.

I was really worried about the lumber puncture and we couldn't be by his incubator when it was being done, but another Mum who was with her baby said that Oscar didn't even cry during the procedure.

Unfortunately a second lumber puncture had to be done as blood got into the first one. Two hours later the doctor came to tell me it was meningitis and it was bacterial, but they didn't know which strain.

We were devastated, but the doctor told us that it meant they could now give Oscar the correct antibiotics to treat the meningitis.

When Oscar was a week old he was discharged from hospital and that was the best day ever.

We had to return to the hospital a week later to see the audiology scientist, but Oscar's hearing was fine.

After effects

After that we lived in a little bubble as Oscar reached all his milestones, and he is now a very bright and clever little boy. However, when he started school he struggled to settle and showed signs of sensory issues (a sign of anxiety).

We removed him from his first school as in our opinion they were unhelpful and issued punishments for behaviour he had no control over.

It was whilst he was at this school that I first phoned the Meningitis Now helpline as I just needed somebody to listen to me whilst I ranted and cried.

The first lady I spoke to was so lovely and she told me that Oscar's behaviour could well be linked to him having meningitis as a baby. She posted me some really helpful fact sheets which I shared with the school.

We have now found him the most amazing, nurturing school and they have been very proactive in getting other agencies involved. They will be providing a 1-1 Teaching Assistant for him in his next academic school year, as he is extremely anxious and this affects his learning and behaviour.

I want to thank the staff at the birthing centre, as it was their quick action that saved Oscar's life, and Meningitis Now who have been so helpful each time I’ve spoken to them.

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