Simon K’s story

15th July 2021

Diane’s 21-month-old-son Simon fell ill in January 1977 with meningococcal septicaemia, sadly losing his life to the disease

Simon K's bacterial meningitis story

Such was the lack of understanding about meningitis back then that detectives came to interview her following his death. Fortunately Diane, living in Bourne in Lincolnshire at the time but now in Northampton, found a friend in Meningitis Now, as she tells us here.

“I took Simon to the doctors on 21 January as he was unwell. The doctor said it was probably a bug and gave him medicine. 

“By early evening he had not improved with the medication. We noticed a rash and thought it was measles. He kept calling me – "Mummy", he would cry. I felt so helpless I didn't realise how much pain he was in. 

Stopped breathing

“We called the doctor out and he hadn't a clue what it could be. Simon then stopped breathing in my arms. I called his name and he started breathing again. The doctor sent me upstairs and called an ambulance.

“A little while later he came upstairs. He never said anything about Simon and said he was giving me an injection, to which I replied: "Will my baby be okay? I'm expecting". To which his reply was, “I’m glad you told me, you would lose that one as well". That's how I found out our little son had died. 

“Because the ambulance arrived after Simon died he had to stay on the couch all night. The next morning two plain clothed detectives came to interview me – well more like the third degree. Had I punched him, thumped him, hit him. I said no, which of course I hadn't. 

Live with accusations for years

“Anyway, I had to live with those accusations for years and never got an apology, even after the post mortem where they said it was meningococcal septicaemia. He had the worse type of septicaemia, that's why, bless him, he was in so much pain. 

“When we saw the doctor he said, "No one knows much about meningitis". Anyway, a very close member of my husband’s family said I must not touch him when we went to say goodbye to him at the funeral parlour in case I caught anything that might harm our unborn child. I have to live with that. It hurts big time.

“I was given a poem which I carry with me always and was told it was from Simon

Don't think of me in thoughts of past
I'm not so far away
You only have to send a thought
I'll get it when you pray
I feel the loss that’s in your heart
The hurt and grief and pain.
But I will stay beside my Mum
Until we meet again
So put a smile upon your face
That’s what I want to see
Your love and light is shining bright
Especially for me
God be with you

Helped me beyond words

“Meningitis Now have helped me beyond words. I have been involved since the Meningitis Trust days and I class Meningitis Now as my second family

“My family all understand and know about meningitis too and one of my grandchildren is also a volunteer.”

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