Ruby O's story

2nd April 2017

Bethany’s 14-week-old daughter Ruby had been ill for a few days but doctors thought it was just a viral infection. It was only when tests were carried out in hospital that the real cause of her illness was diagnosed. Fortunately, Ruby has gone on to make a good recovery. Bethany, from Hyde in Cheshire, recounts their experience here

Ruby O

“My daughter Ruby had been ill for a few days with constant crying, temperatures and she didn't want to be held. She went to the doctors covered in a rash, but he suspected it was just a viral rash and asked me to go back the next day just to be sure!”

“The next day she was still experiencing the same symptoms, a high pitched cry, didn't want to be held, high temperature and reduced feeds, but as the rash had gone he was positive her symptoms were due to a viral infection. We were sent home and he told me to keep giving Ruby Calpol. As I trusted the doctor’s opinion I just went home and tried my hardest to get her better.” 

Still no change

“A couple of days later there was still no change, so I went back. He said again it was just a viral infection, but referred her to the community nurses as I had seen him a few times in one week.”

“When the nurses arrived they just weren’t happy with everything I explained and sent us to the children's ward for more test to be done. Once there we were seen by a consultant, who said he wanted to do a blood test and a lumbar puncture to see what was going on.” 

“By this point I still didn't suspect meningitis and just let them do their job!  My daughter was dehydrated by this point and was put on iv fluids and was treated for a suspected infection.” 

My whole world had fallen apart

“Four hours later we received the results from the lumbar puncture and she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis type C. My whole world felt like it had fallen apart.”

“Once Ruby was diagnosed they changed her antibiotics to something stronger. She was in hospital for a week and had a feeding tube to help with feeds and a blood test every day or two days, as her platelets were extremely high – a secondary impact of the infection. It felt like a nightmare with no way out.”

“Ruby has now been out of hospital for nearly six weeks and her blood count has improved enormously. She still has to have regular check ups at hospital but so far she has made an amazing recovery.”

Good days and bad days

“Ruby still has good and bad days since her meningitis but it is still early days and we take each day as it comes. I am so thankful to the amazing staff and my family for all the support they gave Ruby's dad Scott and me through the whole process. Ruby has since given blood to Public Health England to help with their research for meningitis type C.”