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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.

Megan Rose McClure

Group B Strep meningitis at 3 days

Group B Strep meningitis

I had fairly normal pregnancy with my youngest daughter Megan, and an elective c-section in May 2006.

In hospital, two days after she was born, I commented to the nurses that she was pale and jittery, and they duly wrote it on my white notes, took her temperature, which was normal, and said her blood sugar was low, despite that fact that she had just been fed. I now know these are early symptoms of neo-natal meningitis - however, we were discharged.

The following morning when I was changing her I noticed her groin area was blotchy, but her temperature was normal. The midwife arrrived shortly after, and decided that she wasn't happy with her colour and sent us straight down to the GP. By the time we arrived her temperature had risen so we were sent to the hospital. The actions of the midwife and my GP saved Megan's life.

She was given a lumbar puncture immediately, and as it was Friday we were told that it was unlikely we would get the results until Monday but they would treat her for meningitis anyway to be on the safe side. I was actually woken the following morning to be told it was indeed meningitis caused by GBS, and that the next 24 hours were critical. They also told us that if we had waited any longer to bring her in we would have lost her.

The next two weeks in hospital we were on auto-pilot, and it's only when we were finally home that the enormity of what we had been through hit us. The Meningitis Research Foundation were my lifeline when I needed advice or to talk about how we were feeling.

We are incredibly lucky to have a happy, healthy three-year-old now - her immune system is not great, so she does pick up everything going, but we hope that will improve with time.

Meningitis is a devastating disease and in many ways it still affects us when we hear about people who were not as lucky as we are. The Foundation is still a part of our lives - I keep up to date with the research done on the after effects of the disease, and am proud to be a media contact, and a photographer for some events they hold.

NICKY McCLURE
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