My story starts when I was only 18; my son was five months old and we lived in temporary accommodation – one small room.
I was offered a flat, and that’s the day Josh started to look ill. He was pale and very sleepy, I could barely wake him the day we went to view the new flat. When we got back to our room I noticed he was hot so I stripped him, gave him some Calpol and put him to bed.
Later that night he threw up really badly; that’s when I decided to take him to A&E. We waited for two to three hours before we were seen then they told us it was a virus and to take him home.
As a first time mum I did as the doctors told me but the next morning he was floppy and lifeless. He was hot so I stripped him down to his nappy and that’s when I noticed the tiny little rash on his shoulder. I did the glass test and it was positive so I rang the ambulance and he was rushed back to the A&E dept that had sent him home the evening before.
We were in resus for hours while they made him stable enough to be transferred to St Mary’s in London by ambulance.
It was the scariest thing I had ever been through, and I remember the doctors taking me and my mum into the family room to tell us Joshua’s life was on a knife edge and that he had 50/50 chance of surviving the meningitis.
In hospital at St Mary’s I remember him being asleep for all of his time there, with a ventilator breathing for him. The staff in PICU were amazing and we became firm friends.
Joshua recovered after a week in PICU, then he was in the ward for a couple of days before he was sent home. We were so lucky that he survived, but now he is eight years old he is having trouble with memory and concentration and is struggling at school. Help for this is non-existent: I just keep getting told he is a boy, he can’t be bothered and that he is too young to be tested for anything.
This was one of the most horrendous times of my life but I still have my baby and regardless of the learning difficulties he is my little miracle.