Stanley's story

1st March 2016

A high temperature, lethargy and a grumpy mood alerted mum, Kathleen Burn, of Northumberland, that there was something wrong with her little boy, Stanley

Stanley letterbox
Kathleen could not have imagined that he would spend the next 17 days in hospital, fighting for his life after contracting meningococcal septicaemia.

Thankfully, Stanley was one of the lucky ones and won his battle against this terrible disease. His mum recalls their experience.

“On 8th January 2016 I dropped my son, Stanley, at nursery at 12:30pm as usual for his five hours and went to work. He was his usual self.”

“At 1:30pm my mam called me to say he was at her house with a high temperature, I said for her to ring my dad and get to my house as that’s where the calpol is and his own comforts etc.”

“I got home at 5:30pm and Stanley just seemed grumpy and moaning a lot. He was very hot but his skin felt cold to touch. I talked it over with my mam and decided with it being a Friday we would take him over to the walk in centre at the local hospital (previously A&E).”

“We got there at about 6pm, and we were checked in and dealt with pretty much straight away. Stanley was given more paracetamol, and was thoroughly checked over. The doctor suggested he should go to A&E and called for an ambulance (even though I said I could drive us there).”

“On getting to the next hospital (8-8:15pm) he was taken into a cubical. Both a nurse and a doctor saw him, asked questions and checked him over. They put a cannula into his hand to take some bloods and the doctor explained they would start him on antibiotics straight away as the blood test results can take up to 48 hours to show anything.”

“The doctor’s words were ‘We treat for the worst and hope for the best’.”

I knew it was meningitis

“A consultant also came in to see him and it was decided that he should be moved to the Great North Children’s Hospital, as they didn’t have a children’s unit as it was an emergency hospital. Another ambulance was arranged.”

“By midnight we were in A&E at the new hospital, more fluids were given to my son, for all he was very poorly by now and the rash had seriously developed. He was still very alert and eyeing up all the different staff.”

“Four different consultants were around Stanley’s bed and it was agreed that he would be moved up to Paediatrics Intensive Care so they could carry on treating him. I now knew (mainly down to the rash) that it was meningitis.”

“At 2am we were moved up to PICU and I was shown to the family room. It was explained that they were going to sedate him intubate him so that they could treat him. It was 5:30am before a nurse came to get me to take me to him - I can honestly say that was the longest two and a half hours of my life.”

“Even though the consultant had explained what to expect, it was still a shock seeing my little boy hooked up to all these machines with wires and tubes everywhere.”

I hope there are no after-effects

“He spent nine days on PICU before being moved onto a ward for a further eight days, as he developed a touch of pneumonia and they wanted to be sure he was clear of that before he was allowed home.”

“It was in the later days on PICU that I found out from one of the doctors that he had been the most poorly child on the ward over the weekend and it could have gone either way.”

“Six weeks later, we've celebrated his second birthday and you wouldn’t think he'd ever been poorly, apart from the little shaved patch of hair and a few remaining marks that are slowly fading.”

“We have a follow up appointment in just over a week and I'm hoping he gets the all clear. I know some things might not show until he's older but I'm hopeful there's no long-term damage.”

Glass test

Do not wait for a rash

Many people wrongly believe that a rash always appears with meningitis. A rash is a sign of blood poisoning and it can be one of the last symptoms to be displayed. Know the symptoms and trust your instincts. Find out more
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