It was the 12th January 2005. Danielle (then two and a half) had gone to bed the night before perfectly fine. She woke at 10.45pm, she had been sick and was very hot. I gave her Calpol and a big drink of water. She settled down immediately, only to wake again at 3.45am having been sick again. I lifted her out of the cot, changed her and gave her more Calpol and a drink. I said to my husband "I wonder what’s wrong with her?" She was very pale and still and when I laid her back down she said "carefully mummy, it hurts". I left her to sleep.
My husband went to work at 7.30am, my son got off to school at 8.15am. I checked on her and although she was still, she seemed to be sleeping and settled. I checked again at 9.30am and she was still sleeping. She finally awoke at 10.30am, shouting "Mummy". I opened the bedroom door, and she was stood at the foot of the cot. The purple rash was all down her face, her arms and legs. My own legs almost gave way, I knew what it was and I hadn’t seen it before. I knew it was meningitis.