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meningitis & septicaemia can kill in hours!

People who are faced with meningitis and septicaemia have to act fast to help save a life.

Chloe Rose Cain

Pneumococcal meningitis at 3

Pneumococcal meningitis

My little girl Chloe started throwing up and had a temperature. I tried to push fluids but she just kept bringing it all back up. This went on for two days.

I finally got her into the doctors who examined her as she was laying limp in my arms. Usually she would be screaming and kicking by now.  He said she just had a temperature and gave me paracetamol and ibuprofen.

The next day she was thrashing around on the settee, I phoned for an ambulance, the paramedics couldn't get any blood out of her to test her sugar levels. Chloe was so dehydrated so they put her on drips to push fluids and then took blood. Within half an hour she was diagnosed with meningitis. They then sedated her and put her on a ventilator, I heard her crying while they were doing this. They took her upstairs to do a brain scan and moved her to the ICU.

The next day they told me she had septicaemia which was attacking her brain and kidneys, so they put her on a dialysis machine and took a scan of her heart. Her heart wasn't working properly so they gave her medicine for that.

This went on for five days. Then they wanted to give her an operation because she couldn't stay on the dialysis machine any longer. The operation couldn't take place because her infection rate went up and this went on for two days. During this time she was squeezing my hand.

The neurosurgeon came to see me with scan results and showed me where the meningitis was attacking her brain, it was like looking at balls of cotton wool all over her brain.

At 1am on 3rd of April I got a phone call saying that she had taken a turn for the worse and had to go for another brain scan, I stayed up till 4am then went to bed. At 6.35am, two and a half hours later, they phoned again and said I needed to come to her.

When I went to see her she was off all medications and the dialysis machine, I knew the worst had happened. The doctors took me to a small room and told me she was brain dead and that even if she made it she would be on a ventilator for the rest of her life. I couldn't do that to her. So with my family around me I held her in my arms while they took her off the ventilator. She went cold quickly. Logically I knew what had happened but couldn't accept it, just yesterday she was squeezing my hand and now she's gone.

TARA CAIN
MAY 2013

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