Sienna's story

5th May 2021

Baby Sienna had a bad night, with a high temperature and high-pitched screaming. With a routine check-up already planned the following day, mum Sabrina thought she’d wait to check her out

Sienna bacterial meningococcal meningitis case study

Sienna was sent to hospital and tests confirmed she had contracted meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. Fortunately, she pulled through, as Sabrina, from Polegate in East Sussex, tells us here.

“On the Sunday evening at the end of September 2019 Sienna had a terrible night of not sleeping and not drinking her milk. 

“At just seven weeks old I felt this was worrying, but she was generally a fussy child and as I had a six week doctor’s check the next day I thought I’d leave it till then to question it. I thought maybe she had a cold coming. 

“The next day she was the same and by 2pm I was at the doctors doing her routine check. I mentioned I was concerned about her temperature and fussiness, so he checked her and she had a high temperature. He said to me, "She doesn’t look right, we'd better get her booked in to the Eastbourne DGH for extra checks". 

Hospital – as soon as possible

“He told us to go down there as soon as possible, so we left our other child Skylar with grandparents and went down to the hospital. 

“They put her straight on a drip with antibiotics as a precautionary. They also tried and failed to do a lumbar puncture. 

“Then we were told an ambulance would take us to Hastings Hospital, as they had a bigger children’s department. 

“Once there they did another lumbar puncture to check if there was any infection. 

Felt so helpless

“Sienna was put on several different antibiotics and her condition was bad for the first 24 hours. We just felt so helpless seeing our newborn baby go through all this. 

“Soon a doctor arrived with bad news. She crouched down on the floor and told us Sienna had bacterial meningitis and that it was also travelling in her blood, creating septicaemia. 

“We were distraught. We couldn’t believe this was happening. You never think it will happen to you. 

We just prayed she would get through it and we were so lucky. Day by day she improved and fed and the antibiotics seemed to be working. After a week we were allowed home and she has been on antibiotics ever since. 

Still here with us

“Unfortunately, she has lasting kidney damage which will require an operation, but the main thing is she is still here with us. I am so grateful that she is here and so aware that many babies are not as lucky. 

“I just want to thank everyone who supported us during that horrible time. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

“We are still dealing with the after-effects of what meningitis has done to our little girl.”

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