Meningitis Now staff member Rachel Oakley

Reaching the peak for Parker after pneumococcal meningitis

Rachel Oakley | 8th September 2020

A team from BT Local Business Stoke are planning an epic mountain climb to help raise money for a young boy left with debilitating after-effects of pneumococcal meningitis

Reaching the peak to fundraise for Parker after pneumococcal meningitis

Parker Brownfield was 18 months old when he became seriously ill at the beginning of 2020, during the widespread floods in February. 

As his family and the emergency services worked tirelessly to navigate the floods, Parker’s condition deteriorated rapidly and he began to have seizures.

Mum Becky said, "These seizures were long, aggressive and really hard to get under control. It was terrifying to watch him go through them and we felt completely helpless. The doctors suspected Parker had pneumococcal meningitis. While we waited for blood test results and a lumbar puncture Parker went in for an MRI.

"We waited just outside the viewing window and watched the doctors’ reactions to the MRI images.

Prepare for the worst

"The doctor sat us down and explained that the whole of Parker's right side of his brain along with a small part of his left side had been attacked by the meningitis infection. We didn't know what Parker was going to be like when he woke up, when he would wake or, in fact, if.

"The doctors sat us down and said you need to prepare for the worst. We didn't think he was going to wake up. We had to get the family in to say goodbye."

Despite Parker’s parents being told to prepare for the worst, a week later he woke up – although meningitis has left him with life-changing after-effects. In 6 months he has learnt to swallow, eat, sit, roll over, commando crawl and kneel, however he still doesn’t have the use of his left arm and isn’t able to walk. He could face further obstacles in the future in terms of his physical and mental development. 

Reaching the peak for Parker

The family are raising money in order to fund ongoing neuro-development appointments in Devon and weekly physio and hydrotherapy and, in order to help, a team from BT Local Business Stoke will be climbing Snowdon - the tallest mountain in Wales - on 30 October. Team member Matthew Stuart says, “This will be a massive challenge to all but with your support and donations we hope to raise as much as possible”.

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