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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.

Katie Rose Whitehead

Meningococcal disease at 3 months

Meningococcal disease

Katie was our first born and a healthy, happy baby. When she was three months old, as we were having a 30th birthday party for her dad Steve, Katie developed a high temperature. She gradually got worse as the night progressed and became very sleepy and was hard to wake, and when she did, she cried out in pain. I stayed awake with her throughout the night and we gave her Calpol to try and control her temperature, however, she started to refuse her bottles and generally got worse.

First thing in the morning we took her to the emergency doctors and were told the Calpol was working and she probably had a viral infection and to see how she goes. But that if we continued to be concerned, we could to her to A&E. My mum came round at lunchtime and we all agreed Katie needed to be seen straight away. She was limp and dehydrated, so we took her to the hospital.

As soon as we arrived, she was put straight on antibiotics and a drip. She was taken to the special care unit where a lumbar puncture revealed she had meningitis. We were devastated and I was convinced we were going to lose her (I'd lost a friend to meningitis a few years earlier).

We took turns to hold her throughout the night, and thankfully she steadily improved. Katie was then moved on to a normal ward and further tests showed that she did have Group B meningococcal disease (so we had to have antibiotics too) She continued to get better and after 10 days in hospital, was allowed to return home.

Katie made a full recovery and is now seven years old (August 2011) and a great big sister to Charlotte and Libby. I'm so thankful to everyone who was involved in her fast recovery and I know how lucky we have been. She may not have been the lovely person she is today, or even here at all.

We received support from the MRF helpline at such a hard time and will happily continue to support them in the future. X

KELLY WHITEHEAD

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