From the time Lila was a baby she always had a runny nose, I was always at the doctors but all I was told is she had the flu.
Then not long after her second birthday she became very unwell, had a high temperature and a sore neck. She was rushed to hospital and was suffering from meningitis. After strong antibiotics our girl was back to her old self. Her nose continued to run and doctors just put it down to the flu.
Then within five months she had slipped down again – instead of wanting to run around she lay in the lounge, her temperature was high and she was really pale. We took her back to hospital and this time they ran more tests and found a pinhole in her brain which was allowing the bacteria to get in. She spent the next six weeks in hospital on strong medication to kill all the infection then finally our girl was back.
Lila didn't suffer any side effects from the meningitis, then just a few months later she went down again. Lila had got meningitis three times in less than two years. Doctors could not give us an answer on why our little girl kept getting it.
We spent another six weeks in hospital and finally got out on Christmas Eve. We had to go back to have tests after we left hospital but Lila didn't have any of the common problems that affect people that had had meningitis. She was smart and full of life.
She stayed well for eight months with not even getting the flu, then on the 28/08/2011 she wouldn't wake in the morning. She was rushed to hospital and after a short time she was on life support. Meningitis had taken her. She had gone from full of life at our town show to not even waking up. This was the fourth time Lila had got meningitis and it took her life on the 29/08/2011. We had to make the hardest choice any parent has to make and that was to turn the machine off. We didn't want to accept that we had lost our baby. We held Lila in our arms while her last breath of air came out and her little heart stopped.
Our life is so empty without her, she was the baby of our family as she had three older siblings. Today six months on I still find it hard – it's all the little things that hurt the most, the empty seat at the dinner table , the morning cuddles , the toys being left out . I find every day hard and miss her so much.
I wish that our family had known more about meningitis when she was alive because we might have been able to save her, but that is something that we will never know.