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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.

Lois Olivia Keenan

Meningococcal disease at 8 months

Meningococcal disease

Lois Olivia was a very happy contented baby until Sunday 7th June 2009.

She woke up as normal and had her breakfast. Then at 12noon she became very sleepy, she fell asleep and didn't wake up till 2pm, which wasn't normal for her.

When she woke she was very clingy and upset and just wanted to sleep. She had a very high temperature. I rang the emergency doctors and was given an appointment for 6:30pm to attend Mandoc clinic at the MRI. They suspected it was chicken pox, so I was advised to go home, carry on with the Calpol and apply calamine lotion and plenty of fluids.

By 11:00pm, Lois had a red rash which was spreading quickly. I rang the emergency doctors back. They said it could be a viral infection and to just keep up with the fluids. I wasn't sure, so I took Lois back to the MRI hospital. They then took one look at Lois and rushed her off to the resuscitation department. All they kept telling me and my partner was that it was bad and they were trying to get us into the relatives room, but we wouldn't leave her. A team of specialists were called from Pendlebury. There were lots of different doctors and people rushing round her trying to stabilise her and work out what was wrong.

We were then transferred to Pendlebury Children's Hospital but we weren't allowed to travel with her. We were later told they didn't think she would make it through the journey. When we arrived at Pendlebury we were taken to a side room and Lois was taken straight to ICU where she was ventilated and hooked up to lots of different machines we didn't understand.

It took a few hours for us to be able to see her and we were then told she had meningococcal septicaemia and needed blood transfusions. The nurses were trying their best to explain things, but all we really understood was that our baby was in a critical state.

It took three days for them to finally get her stabilised and then she went from strength to strength. They were amazed at her recovery. After seven days she was off everything apart from IV antibiotics and transferred to a normal ward.

Although I had my family and friends there for support, I found that Facebook on my mobile phone was my lifeline. Everyone was so supportive and helpful.

Lois is now home and is doing really well. The only side effect is she is a little menace but I wouldn't have it any other way.

STACEY ROYLE
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