Meningitis in your words

Evie Grace Robbins's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Toddler 1-3
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Hearing problems
Evie Grace Robbins

On March 10th 2008, Evie, aged 2.5yrs at the time, contracted meningococcal septicaemia. Evie woke up with a temperature and was very pale. "Evie has a viral infection", the doctor told me at Sleaford Medical Group, "take her home and let her rest". Trusting our good doctor's word, I and Evie's dad, Phil, went home and let Evie rest.

Phil was due at work at 2pm and Evie was very lethargic and her temperature was over 40 degrees. "I'm not happy", I explained to Phil, "Something isn't right". We took Evie back to the doctors who then referred us to Lincoln County Hospital.

"I felt sick, I couldn't speak. I knew what it was and I knew what was coming."

As we arrived at Lincoln, Evie started being sick and was very grey. On the children's ward a doctor came over to us and lifted up Evie's vest only to find one big purple spot, the doctor then disappeared quite quickly and before we knew it several doctors, nurses and specialists had Evie heavily sedated before we could even ask what was going on. "Evie has meningitis, we need to refer her to Queen's Medical Centre Intensive Care Unit in Nottingham but we need to get her prepared first". I felt sick, I couldn't speak. I knew what it was and I knew what was coming. I informed all the family that we would be making our way to the QMC and that Evie was severely ill. We weren't allowed to ride in the ambulance with her, which broke my heart. My poor little girl all alone, covered from head to toe with what can only be described as cling film.

When we arrived at Nottingham at 10pm, Evie was rushed straight into ICU. It felt like a lifetime that we were sat waiting to speak to a doctor. But then he came. "Evie has meningococcal septicaemia and is on a life support machine, please be prepared for the worst as she is losing the will to fight the disease". You could hear my screams from the other side of the hospital. I just wanted to swap places with my baby. Myself, Phil, my mum, dad, sister, aunty were all at her bedside holding her hand. We sat there all night just staring at our angel.

"Evie began to get better and day-by-day she was taken off a machine"

As morning came round, Evie had survived the night but was still heavily sedated and was wired up with machines racing to keep her alive. I would sing her songs I knew she liked and tell her stories she loved to hear, fighting back the tears as I didn't want her to hear me cry. It was painful.

After 48 hours, Evie began to get better and day-by-day she was taken off a machine. The 6th day arrived when it was time to see if Evie had the strength to breathe on her own. She did it. The happiest moment of my life, watching my little girl come round. The doctor advised that she was very lucky and we were right to follow our instincts. If we had left her any longer she may not have any limbs or could have lost her life.

We were so very grateful to QMC Intensive Care Unit for saving our daughter and to Lincoln Hospital who acted so very quickly.

Evie is 8yrs old now and only suffered with hearing problems, which she battles with every so often, but this she can deal with.

Evie has been kickboxing for over 2 yrs now and enters many competitions over the region, She is a true fighter in more ways than one.

We feel like the luckiest parents in the world. We will never stop raising money for MRF as although we were lucky there are many families that are not. And my heart goes out to each and every parent that has had to battle against this disease.

Lisa Robbins
November 2013