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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.

Jamie Stephen Morris

Group B Strep meningitis at 8 Days

Group B Strep meningitis

Jamie was just eight days old when he became ill. He had been admitted to special care at time of delivery due to having low blood sugars, from day one he found it hard to feed, he was taking less than one ounce sometimes from a bottle so had to be fed through a naso gastric tube.

My partner and I were visiting throughout the day. Jamie had seemed OK the night before, which was a Thursday. We did his feed, he took 100mls/3ounces, we thought we had turned a corner and we would have him home by the Saturday.

At 9.35am the next day I received a phone call from the neonatal unit - the nurse explained to me that Jamie had become very unsettled during the night and was refusing to feed. I was told that he had been put on some IV fluids.

We got to the hospital at 12noon to see Jamie in a high dependency room, in an incubator, surrounded by nurses, doctors and consultants. I was told that Jamie had had to have a lumbar puncture and they were awaiting the results. I was told to go home and they would ring me when the results arrived.

We returned to the hospital at 2pm to be told that the provisional results had come back and Jamie could possibly be suffering from meningitis. He was put on various antibiotics and hooked up to monitors.

He was transferred to intensive care, and put on a NCPAP machine to help him breathe. He would not settle, we couldn't hold him, all we could do was wait for the medicines to start working,

The next day the results were confirmed, Jamie officially had Group B Strep Meningitis. I was told that he would have a three-week course of antibiotics and then they would perform another lumbar puncture.

During the first week Jamie was desperately ill, and had desaturations almost every five minutes; he had to be put on more medicine to stop him from having convulsions.

After 48 hours he came off the NCPAP machine, as his breathing had stabilised. After the three weeks the lumbar puncture was re-done, and we were informed that Jamie would have to have another three-week course, as the meningitis was still present although he was well in himself.

During these next three weeks Jamie had cannulas in his hands, feet and also in his head. He had to have a CT scan to check there was no brain damage, which fortunately came back negative.

On September 11th 2009 Jamie was discharged from neonatal unit, at seven weeks old we had our brave boy home. I am awaiting appointments to see if there is any damage to his hearing or sight.

My message to parents going through the same as I have done is, stay positive, babies are stronger than you think. Jamie having meningitis makes it hit home just how precious our children are.

VICKI MACAULAY
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