Support from family and friends also made all the difference to Donna when her 11-day-old baby daughter Bonnie was admitted to hospital in March last year, helping her through what was a difficult and upsetting time.
Bonnie had a temperature, was lethargic and floppy, not eating and screamed when she was touched. Her fontanelle was also raised and hard.
But it was only weeks later during what she thought was a routine check-up that Donna , from Barrhead in Glasgow, discovered that her daughter had actually contracted viral meningitis.
Something wasn’t right
The cry that Donna and her family awoke to on Bonnie’s 11th day was not that of a happy newborn. She knew something wasn’t right.
Thinking and hoping that it was only a cold she called the surgery the second it opened, only to realise it was a Saturday and it was closed. The out-of-hours service referred her to hospital, where Bonnie continued to scream when touched.
“I still had a hope that we were ‘wasting their time’” Donna said.
“The doctor said she was being kept in for at least five days to continue with four different types of antibiotics, plus one oral. I stayed with her. She didn't want to be fed and she couldn't bear to be touched by me.”
The worst time of my life
“I haven't cried so much, or felt so useless in my whole life. It truly was the worst time of my life. I didn't allow myself to think the worst, how could I? Meningitis was mentioned a couple of times, but wasn't confirmed. No one seemed to know what the problem was.”
Finally, on day four, Bonnie's temperature started to go down and she was awake more. She was happy to feed again, and even happier to cuddle. On day seven Donna was allowed to take her home and they could be a family again. They still had no answer to what had been wrong with her.
It was only a few weeks later when Donna took Bonnie to hospital for what she thought was a routine check-up that she found out it had been viral meningitis. Thankfully Bonnie, who is 13 months now, has grown into your normal cheeky baby with no after effects at all.
Read Bonnie’s full story.
Know the symptoms of viral meningitis.
Find out more about Viral Meningitis Awareness Week.