Meningitis in your words

Charlie Thomas Malcolm's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Charlie Thomas Malcolm

Saturday morning got up as normal, went in to get Charlie from his cot and he was covered from head to toe in spots/rash. As any mother would I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a glass and pressed it against his legs – the spots didn’t disappear! I got dressed as quickly as humanly possible and got him to the hospital.

They checked him over, and then he got a senior consultant down to check him over. They came to the conclusion it wasn’t meningitis but chicken pox. We were sent home!

Charlie still didn’t seem right Sunday, Monday came and went, he played a bit, but didn’t seem himself. Tuesday his temperature soared up to 40.1 so he was dosed up on paracetamol. Tuesday night he went to bed normal time, we checked him throughout the night and his temp seemed to have come down.

We went to wake him up on Wednesday morning but he was still very sleepy, picked him up and he didn’t really want to wake up. Tried to change his nappy and he only stirred. I decided to put him back down and let him sleep it off.

An hour later he still didn’t want to wake up, but I noticed his temp had significantly dropped. He was so cold. I tried to wake him up but he didn’t. Fear set in. I wrapped him in a blanket and got to the hospital as quickly as I could! I knew this wasn’t chicken pox.

"The doctors weren’t sure whether it was seizures or if he had a stroke"

Once at the hospital we went straight into a room and they began pumping him with antibiotics – they told us this was fluids, they didn’t want to scare us. He was so lifeless and limp. The first cannula went in – he screamed, it broke my heart to hear my baby boy in so much pain, but I knew it would do him good. We got taken up to the children’s ward and put in a side room in isolation.

The next day they did a lumbar puncture to rule out meningitis – this is what confirmed our worst fears. He had Meningococcal Meningitis B.

Then the seizures started, not full on body shaking but little twitches within his arms and legs down one side. The doctors weren’t sure whether it was seizures or if he had a stroke. So he was started on anti-convulsion meds, which stopped the seizure within minutes. They said it was probably just a one off and down to his temperature going up and down.

Next morning he had another seizure, this time lasting for around two hours, then next morning another lasting three hours. They were pumping so many drugs into him it started to affect his breathing – they decided he needed to go to intensive care.

Charlie got rushed to Bristol Children’s Hospital in a paediatric ambulance with us following behind in an ambulance car. We only spent one night there as the seizures seemed to have stopped so we were transferred back to Yeovil Hospital the next day. Once back he seemed to be getting better, before we knew it he was wriggling round his cot and trying to escape. That Sunday the morning rounds came and we were told we could go home, 11 days after being admitted.

Charlie has no long lasting effect from meningitis, his hearing/sight checks are all clear and he is now off the anti-seizure meds. May 2010 we had the all clear from the hospital and were discharged with the all clear. My little boy is now a normal babbling mischievous little 15-month old.

JULY 2010