A man from Hitchin is raising money for MRF after his son was diagnosed with the disease.
Jeff Brown has written a book about his travels around the world. An Ordinary Man’s Travels in an Extraordinary World is not just a travelogue, it is also a memoir of his son Jothi’s battle with meningitis in Intensive Care. Jeff is donating 80% of the royalties from the book sales to MRF.
Nine years ago, when Jothi was only eighteen months old, he became very ill. His parents, Jeff and Bharathi became concerned but had difficulties getting the correct diagnosis. They had taken their baby son to the GP and hospital, then A&E. Each time they were told that it was likely to be a virus and to bring him back if he wasn’t better in a few days. Eventually they took Jothi to A&E with a very high temperature, very cold feet and hands, and a fast heart beat, but they were sent home again.
Jeff and Bharathi trusted their instincts and they returned to the hospital in the middle of the night. Jeff says: “When we reached the hospital the doctors took one look at Jothi and all hell broke loose. There were lots of people around him, and they asked us to move out of the way so they could treat him. More staff arrived and they worked urgently to save Jothi’s life which by now was hanging by a thread. He was then transferred in an ambulance to the Evelina Children’s hospital in London. Jothi’s condition remained life threatening as he had multi-organ failure and severe sepsis but he fought his way through the crucial period and gradually started to improve.”
Jothi had been diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and sepsis. When he came out of the hospital three weeks later, he had lost the ability to walk and could not even hold his head up. It took him several months to regain his strength and to re-learn to sit up, crawl and walk.
Initially Jothi seemed to make a remarkable recovery, but five years later his parents noticed he was limping. It turned out that the meningitis and sepsis had damaged the growth plates in his knees and ankles. Jothi had two major surgeries that involved separately breaking both legs and placing them in a metal frame to straighten and lengthen them. Jothi is now ten years old and will need these operations on his legs and left thigh every two to three years until he stops growing.