Preet's story

29th July 2016

Preet's mum, Nish knew something ‘didn't feel right’ when her little boy became unwell, and quickly sought medical help

Preet Sidhu

Little Preet was just two when he contracted meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. His mum Nish tells their story.

“My husband Sunny and I and our two year old son, Preet had just arrived back from Majorca on the bank holiday Monday in May. 

“Preet had a brilliant holiday and had lots of fun.  He was fine when we returned home at lunchtime on the Monday.  He played at home during the afternoon, had his dinner at 6pm, bath at 7pm and went to bed as normal, at 7:30pm, ready for nursery the next morning. 

“At 12:30am he started shivering and was breathing quite fast. I tried to settle him down. Half an hour later he vomited and had a temperature. I gave him Calpol and put it down to a bug he may have caught.  

“At 5am he vomited again and his temperature was 39.5, so I gave him Calpol again and settled him back to sleep.  I assumed he had caught a bug from holiday and decided to keep him off nursery. 

Something just didn't feel right

“I made a doctor’s appointment for 10:30am, but at 10am Preet was still fast asleep and showed no signs of waking up.  I very nearly cancelled the doctor’s appointment and was going to let Preet sleep and rest for the day, but instead I picked him up still asleep and put him in the car and took him to the GP. Something just didn't feel right.  

“He was extremely drowsy. The GP tried to stand him on his feet but he couldn't hold his weight, his temperature was now 40 degrees and the GP then noticed one purple spot on his chest. She immediately sent us to Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.

“By the time the medics checked him over, his body was covered in a rash and they immediately administered antibiotics and fluids even though meningitis was not yet confirmed.  

A diagnosis 

“By Tuesday night Preet was transferred to intensive care in the children's unit at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham.  On Wednesday morning it was confirmed that Preet has contracted meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia

“We were told his blood was not clotting properly and he was given a transfusion.  We were in shock and absolutely distraught to see our only child lying helpless in a hospital bed. The next 24-48 hours Preet was monitored very closely to see if the antibiotics were taking effect. 

“Thankfully, he responded well. By Thursday evening his blood test results showed the infection markers had decreased. He was lucky to have been treated at an early stage, as the situation could have been much worse. 

It all happened in less than a week

“By Friday evening Preet was transferred to a normal ward and by Sunday was discharged from hospital.  This all happened in less than a week.  I am still in shock at the speed this disease can take over your body. 

“Preet has thankfully made a full recovery and was back at nursery after another week resting at home!  I’d like to make people aware, and to never doubt your instincts.  In my opinion, you can never to be too cautious when it comes to your child's health.”

The family would like to thank all of the staff at Good Hope Children's assessment unit in Sutton Coldfield and the High Dependency children's unit at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham.

For more information on recognising the signs and symptoms of meningitis, or to download the free life-saving app, click here.

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