Listeria at 10 days old


My sweet son was born on August 5, 2010 weighing in at 5lbs 10oz. We were discharged from the hospital two days later. On August 11th we took our son to the pediatrician for his one week follow-up. Everything was fine except they were concerned about his low birth weight. They put him on NeoSure and said everything looked great.

We quickly settled into a routine and even though he was only a week old he was sleeping well at night and only waking for a couple of feedings a night. On the night of Saturday August 14th Eli was very fussy and wouldn't sleep. He cried almost all night long. We thought that, perhaps, he was getting colic so we walked and rocked...he NEVER spiked a fever that night. The next morning it was pretty much the same thing...he would sleep for 30 minutes or so then wake up screaming...Even though I am a nurse I actually started to panic and felt like something was wrong. We bundled Eli up and headed to the hospital. On the way there I can remember telling my husband “You know they are going to brush us off...they will say it’s formula intolerance or watch”.

Upon arrival to the hospital Eli started to spike a fever. They did some blood work and his WBC was critically high. We were immediately admitted to Paeds for a lumbar puncture. Within hours we had our answer... our 10 day old was fighting a rare strain of listeria meningitis and fighting for his life.

They started the medication and he was responding well to it...then he started getting sick again. The cultures came back that he had MRSA as well as listeria in his spinal fluid...however we had caught it so early they felt like it was going to be OK. After a week in the hospital they discharged us home with IV antibiotics.

We were home four days until one night Eli started screaming all night again. When we checked his temperature we found out he had a fever and it was climbing. We gave him Tylenol and took off to the hospital. They admitted him and we stayed in the hospital for a total of 28 days. On September 11, 2010 they discharged him with the warning that anytime within the next year the infection could happen again. Also they were concerned that he would be blind, deaf, or have learning disabilities ... or all the above. We were terrified the entire year.

Today Eli is a happy, healthy two year old who has no effects from the meningitis.