Family's relief for recovery

13th February 2018

Claire Gilmour's seven-year-old son Aidan spent 12 long days in Newcastle's RVI after he contracted meningococcal sepsis in November


Doctors told 34 year-old Claire he had a one-in-10 chance of survival, but tough Aidan managed to fight the condition and is nearly back to his normal self.

When Aidan was first discharged from hospital he was in agony from the rash caused by the sepsis, was sensitive to noise and had to walk with a zimmer frame. 

"When he came home he was still having temperatures and I was sleeping on the floor beside him," said Claire, who is a nurse. "It's really changed me as a person. The fear was unreal."

Speaking with Times and Star Claire said, "If I could have swapped places with him, I would in an instant. It was terrifying."

"We just cannot believe how lucky he's been – I cherish all the little things now."

Claire remembers the day the Aidan fell ill and said she couldn't get his temperature down.

She took him to the access centre at Workington hospital, then to the West Cumberland

It was while waiting to be seen at the West Cumberland Hospital that his conditioned worsened and doctors decided to treat him for meningitis.

"I looked at his little hands and feet and it looked as if he had socks and gloves on – they looked like corned beef," she explained. "I thought his body was shutting down so I went to get help."

At first doctors thought they were dealing with appendicitis and he was taken by ambulance to Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary.

"We didn't know what it was, he was just shutting down. He was like a lifeless dummy," said Claire.

"His neck went really dark purple and his face was glowing with yellow – that's when they put the sirens on."

"They said if we'd have left him another hour or so, it could have been much worse."

Even though Aidan had been given the Men C vaccine, he still contracted the condition.

Thankfully, Aidan managed to fight the bug and was released from hospital 12 days later.

It has been a long road to recovery but Aidan is doing well and recently returned to St Gregory's School at Westfield.

Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of meningitis.