Mum supports new Christmas campaign after her 7 week old baby had meningitis

02 Dec 2019
Mum supports new Christmas campaign after her 7 week old baby had meningitis

A family from Poole in Dorset is supporting MRF's new Christmas appeal and winter awareness campaign. Three months ago, Stephanie and Scott King’s little baby daughter Margaux was only seven weeks old when she fell suddenly ill.

Little Margaux was just 7 weeks old and seemed ok in the day leading up to becoming ill.  Stephanie says: “Margaux slept more than usual that day but as she was so young I assumed she was just growing. I went to give her a late evening feed but I couldn’t wake her as usual and I noticed she was quite hot. Her temperature was a little high but I assumed it was just from where she had been cosy and asleep.”

“At 3am I woke up as she usually wakes around then for a feed, but she was sound asleep.  I could feel the heat radiate from her crib so I took her temperature and it was 39 degrees. It was at this moment I didn't even hesitate and took her to the hospital.  When we got to A&E, my baby was a deep dark, mottled purple colour.”

Doctors gave the baby antibiotics, did an immediate lumbar puncture which confirmed she had meningitis but could not confirm viral or bacterial for 48 hours.  A rash only appeared on Margaux’s body the third day after she fell ill.  From the lumbar puncture results, doctors confirmed this it was viral meningitis, so they stopped the antibiotics and Margaux recovered ten days later.

While viral meningitis is not deadly like the bacteria form of the disease, it can be very traumatic for those affected, with prolonged recovery periods and the possibility of some neurological problems later.

It is thought that viral forms of meningitis are more common than the deadly bacterial type of meningitis, but as many cases of viral meningitis recover without treatment, estimating the number of cases is difficult.

"I’m supporting the launch of MRF’s new Christmas appeal and winter awareness campaign as I want to help raise awareness of signs and symptoms, it can make all the difference to save someone’s life. " - Stephanie King’

Stephanie goes on to say:  “It was the weirdest experience, I was a new mum and had no idea what was happening. Margaux kept screaming out, which was thought to be due to a headache.  My anxiety was horrendous, I couldn't sleep or eat whilst in hospital but the nurses and doctors were exceptional in helping me. It wasn't until we were discharged that it hit me. I was offered some counselling which I took to discuss my feelings and just to ensure I wasn't anxious around Margaux as that's the last thing I wanted. I’m supporting the launch of MRF’s new Christmas appeal and winter awareness campaign as I want to help raise awareness of signs and symptoms, it can make all the difference to save someone’s life.  If you can this Christmas, please donate to their 12 Days of Christmas Appeal.”

Vinny Smith, Chief Executive of MRF said, “Stephanie and Scott’s experience highlights how traumatic viral meningitis can be for parents and we’re grateful that she is supporting our Christmas fundraising and awareness campaign. Both bacterial and viral meningitis can occur all year round, but sadly we see even more individuals and families affected by bacterial meningitis during winter, particularly around Christmas, but it can be difficult to recognise at first. Even a doctor may not be able to diagnose it in the early stages, which is why it’s so important for everyone to know the symptoms and for parents to trust their instincts.”

“If you, or someone you know is ill and getting rapidly worse, people should not be afraid to seek urgent medical help - even if they’ve already been seen by a doctor that same day.”

"You can help fund this vital work.” - Vinny Smith, CEO, MRF

“During the 12 Days of Christmas campaign we will be distributing awareness materials to those at highest risk so that people know the signs and symptoms before the holidays and can take action fast to save lives. We also need funding to supporting research to understand if people with wintertime infections, like flu, are more likely to carry high numbers of meningitis bacteria and therefore be more infectious. You can help fund this vital work.”

MRF’s 12 days of Christmas campaign is an urgent call to support twelve days of action to prevent death and disability from meningitis as cases rise in the winter months.

In winter there are three times more cases of bacterial meningitis than in summer months. Wintertime illnesses, like flu, are thought to enable meningitis causing bacteria to invade the body more easily through the nose and throat, and they can spread more rapidly when people spend longer periods together indoors.

Visit MRF’s 12 Days of Christmas page or donate to MRF via the family’s justgiving page.

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Sophie Beyer - Media Relations Manager
Tel: 07875 498047
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