Meningitis in your words

Eli Phillips's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Listeria
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Eli Phillips

My sweet son was born on August 5, 2010 weighing in at 5lbs 10oz. We were discharged from the hospital two days later. On August 11th we took our son to the pediatrician for his one week follow-up. Everything was fine except they were concerned about his low birth weight. They put him on NeoSure and said everything looked great.

We quickly settled into a routine and even though he was only a week old he was sleeping well at night and only waking for a couple of feedings a night. On the night of Saturday August 14th Eli was very fussy and wouldn't sleep. He cried almost all night long. We thought that, perhaps, he was getting colic so we walked and rocked...he NEVER spiked a fever that night. The next morning it was pretty much the same thing...he would sleep for 30 minutes or so then wake up screaming...Even though I am a nurse I actually started to panic and felt like something was wrong. We bundled Eli up and headed to the hospital. On the way there I can remember telling my husband “You know they are going to brush us off...they will say it’s formula intolerance or watch”.

"They discharged him warning anytime the infection could happen again"

Upon arrival to the hospital Eli started to spike a fever. They did some blood work and his WBC was critically high. We were immediately admitted to Paeds for a lumbar puncture. Within hours we had our answer... our 10 day old was fighting a rare strain of listeria meningitis and fighting for his life.

They started the medication and he was responding well to it...then he started getting sick again. The cultures came back that he had MRSA as well as listeria in his spinal fluid...however we had caught it so early they felt like it was going to be OK. After a week in the hospital they discharged us home with IV antibiotics.

We were home four days until one night Eli started screaming all night again. When we checked his temperature we found out he had a fever and it was climbing. We gave him Tylenol and took off to the hospital. They admitted him and we stayed in the hospital for a total of 28 days. On September 11, 2010 they discharged him with the warning that anytime within the next year the infection could happen again. Also they were concerned that he would be blind, deaf, or have learning disabilities ... or all the above. We were terrified the entire year.

Today Eli is a happy, healthy two year old who has no effects from the meningitis.

Melissa Philips
August 2012

Detailed information about the after effects of meningitis

Vaccines are one of the most effective public health interventions in history, saving billions of lives since the first vaccine was produced in 1798. So how exactly do they work?
Stories that inspire us to create a world free from the diseases.

Whether you are living with the after effects of the diseases or coping with the death of a loved one, we are here for you.

Provide a lifeline for those in need
Provide a lifeline for those in need
£6/€7.20/$8 pays for a 30 minute call from a trained support officer.

They listen to the issues faced by someone struggling with the impact of meningitis, and provide detailed information and support.
Membership and support

The MRF Membership and Support team are here for you for any questions you might have about meningitis and septicaemia and their effects on you, or your family and friends.

Tel: Helpline UK 080 8800 3344 Ireland 1800 41 33 44