Meningitis in your words

Amelie Severn's story

  • Location: UK
  • Categories: Viral
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Child
  • Outcome: Full recovery
  • After effects: None
Amelie Severn
Amelie Severn - Meningitis in your words

Amelie was only three weeks old when we got the diagnosis and I remember just feeling numb and in disbelief. She was three weeks old, how could someone so innocent and young be battling something so horrific so early in life.

Amelie didn't have the common meningitis symptoms, everyone asks if there was a rash, there was no rash until day six or seven. This is a myth, I'm really trying to bust never wait for a rash, trust your instincts and I'm so glad that I did.

It was Sunday morning at 4am and Amelie wasn't happy, she had been really clingy for the last five days and wouldn't be put down, and when she was awake she was just moaning. At first I thought it was colic, I remember going out to buy some colief, how wrong could I've been. Amelie was still so young so we were still getting to know each other, I knew she was so different to her older brother but I thought maybe she's just more clingy because she's a girl.

I took her to the hospital that Sunday morning and they told me they wanted to keep us in because she had a temperature so we were admitted to the children's ward and antibiotics were started imminently. I remember they put us in our own room and I remember thinking to myself I won't sit on the bed because we're not going to be here for long and I don't want to make more work for the nurses - again how wrong was I. I overheard the nurse saying to the doctor we have a poorly baby that's been admitted and the baby is really miserable, I was so upset by this and the fact they had just called my baby miserable, at this point I had no clue that it could of been meningitis it never crossed my mind.

Stay strong, and ask for help.

Throughout the day, the doctors did numerous tests and couldn't find what was causing her to be so unsettled and causing her temperature. Later that day, they asked our permission to do a lumbar puncture and we agreed. A few hours later we got the devistating news she had meningitis and that she had cells for both bacterial and viral. 

We spent a week in hospital, we had some really dark days fuelled by uncertainty of the future, we didn't know anyone that had been in this situation, we only had family and friends to talk to. Doctors weren't telling us much and we just had to take each day as it came. Luckily Amelie reacted well to the antibiotics and was able to fight the virus, the doctors told us how lucky we were for finding the virus so early. 

Amelie thankfully made a full recovery after a tough week in hospital, she displayed true grit and determination. Amelie has had follow-up hearing tests, luckily again her hearing hasn't been effected. 

Amelie Severn family portrait

We acted so quickly when we knew Amelie wasn't right, and I am so glad I trusted my instincts and took her to the hospital that morning.

She is my inspiration and that's why next year, I'm running the London Marathon for this charity! My motivation lies within my daughter, she's inspired me beyond words.
Visit my just giving page.

Jessica Walker
October 2023

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