Meningitis in your words

Barney Kai Jones's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Pneumococcal
  • Age: Child 6-12
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Barney Kai Jones
Our son, Barney was seven years and seven months old when he died from pneumococcal meningitis. Barney was a very energetic and healthy boy. He was a very caring boy and lived life for fun and enjoyment for himself and everybody around him. 

At the beginning of December 2004 my mum became ill and was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis. She was treated in hospital for six weeks during which time she suffered a stroke and eventually died of heart failure. 

Barney became ill with a bad cough during December, he seemed to be recovering but didn't seem 100%. On Friday 14th January 2005 we kept Barney off school because he had been sick in the morning and felt unwell; during Saturday he seemed to be improving and was eating a little and playing with toys. During Saturday night his temperature went back up and he started being sick again. We took him to the out of hours GP on early Sunday morning, the GP checked him for meningitis as I told him about my mum. He was still displaying symptoms of a 'bug' and we were advised to continue with Calpol unless he developed any additional symptoms. 

That day we were contacted by the hospital to say my mum had died. 

"We were told that afternoon that they thought he couldn't survive it. He didn't."

We became increasingly concerned about Barney during Sunday night as the fever was getting worse and he couldn't keep the Calpol down. We drove him to Casualty at 6am Monday morning. They started to treat him immediately for meningitis but it was too aggressive. He was transferred to Manchester Children's Hospital where they operated on him to try to relieve the pressure in his head. We were told that afternoon that they thought he couldn't survive it. He didn't. 

We donated all of Barney's organs and he has now helped to save or improve five people's lives. 
Myself, my husband David and daughter Sadie have managed to move forward and now have two additions to our family, Jenson aged three years and Felicity aged two years. Barney's absence is still massive in our lives but our additional family members help to revive the purpose of our lives. We are still devastated with our loss and just hope that the introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine will save other families experiencing the devastations we have. 
Meningitis Research Foundation were there for us whenever we needed them. I have called in the early hours and had a person to talk to, and I needed it! Thank you.