Meningitis in your words

Eve Mary Bustany's story

Eve Mary Bustany

In my 40's, Eve was my little late surprise. And she indeed turned out to be a wonderful surprise. Always healthy, happy, and oh so beautiful, with a wicked sense of humour and with an obsession with 'ta' (women’s breasts!!).

19 April 2010

7.45am – 'I love you' as I head out the door for work.

12 noon – A call from the nursery to say that Eve was lying down feeling unwell and around her mouth had turned blue.

12.30pm – I arrive at the nursery to find Eve with a high temperature and both her arms a little mottled (the mottled arms didn't last very long).

1pm – Eve’s Dad – who I called when I heard she was ill – and I take Eve to Antrim A&E.

2-7pm – Eve’s temperature had remained high even though she was given paracetemol and Nurofen. Her body was checked several times for rashes and some eczema spots that Eve had were poked and pressed. Bloods were also taken. Through those hours Eve did not complain - not once. She was sleepy at times and was sick once after some juice. The A&E doctor decided that because of Eve’s temperature she should be kept in and we moved on to the paeds ward.

7-9pm – A chest X-ray was taken and we were told that the bloods had come back clear, as did the X-ray. Eve was sick a couple more times and became extraordinarily pale. She was also getting more and more listless, just wanting to sleep.

"Eve’s little heart could take no more"

To this day I don’t know why I lifted her t-shirt, but when I did I noticed a tiny mark on her chest – a bruise the size of my baby fingernail.

9pm-1am – I immediately told the nurse about the bruise and after looking she very quickly whisked Eve into the treatment room. Five or six nurses began working on her – pumping fluids and antibiotics into her feet and hands. We were allowed to stay with Eve, for which I am very grateful. We could talk to her, let her know we were there. Again Eve did not complain and I am astounded by her bravery. We knew what it was now although nobody actually said it. I can’t actually put into words the fear we felt.

The consultant explained to us that Eve would need to be transferred to the Royal PICU, that she would be taken to theatre to be tubed and stabilised.

An agonising wait for over an hour and we were allowed to see Eve before she was taken to the ambulance. Shockingly, the bruises were now all over her tiny body. We spoke to her, told her we loved her and that we would see her soon.

1-2.30am – We drove behind the ambulance to the Royal where we had to wait again before we could see Eve.

When we did, Eve was attached to many monitors and again surrounded by nurse and doctors. Eve’s whole body was now black with the septicaemia. We spoke to her, told her how brave she was and rubbed her feet which were very cold (she always liked her feet rubbed).

It didn’t seem very long until something happened and we were moved out of the way.

The staff worked very hard giving heart compressions and adrenaline etc – maybe longer than normal as we were there – but Eve’s little heart could take no more.

They said we could pick Eve up and stay with her as long as we wanted. We talked to her, sang songs, told her how wonderful she was and what she meant to us.

Eve was buried on World Meningitis Day – aged two years and eight months.

Present Day

Disbelief still surrounds us and there are questions that may never be answered.

Seems bad thing do happen to good people.

We discovered MRF online and now we are doing our best to bring a positive out of what happened to our treasured daughter, in any way we can.

Support and love from all sides has amazed us. Our thanks go to our family and friends, the wonderful girls at Jolly Tots and also to the staff at Antrim and the PICU in the Royal.

Now we wait – wait to see if what they say is true – that it gets easier over time.

Denise Bustany
May 2010