Meningitis in your words

Finlay-James Vardy's story

  • Location: Scotland
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Finlay-James Vardy

It was late in the afternoon and suddenly seven-month-old Finlay started crying and getting hotter and hotter.

Four weeks previously Finlay had been in hospital with a viral infection, so me and my husband just put it down to the same again. 

All through the night the crying carried on - Finlay cried if you touched him, moved him and even spoke, then he was sick. It was 6.30am when I phoned the number the hospital gave me before; I spoke to a nurse who told me just to take him to the doctor. I said it was a bank holiday weekend, but the nurse told me not to bother bringing him up to the children's ward because they wouldn't see him. 

With that I put the phone down, phoned a taxi and went straight to A&E. They saw us straight away, gave Finlay some Calpol and took him to the children's ward. The doctor came straight away; she examined Finlay and tried to put off doing the lumbar puncture as he didn't have a rash, so they took a urine sample then did a chest x-ray. 

"Seeing him lying there so helpless and ill was heart-breaking"

However at 12.30pm they did do a lumbar puncture and put Finlay straight on antibiotics, and moved him to the high dependency unit. Seeing him lying there so helpless and ill was heart-breaking. 

However, that night they moved Finlay to a normal room, and after three days he sat up and had something to eat and play with some toys, and five days later we were allowed to bring him home for the afternoon for two days.

On our first wedding anniversary he was allowed home. He still has to go for check ups every three months but everything seems fine and I thank God every day for how lucky we were - I know not everyone is as lucky as we have been.

Rachel Vardy
May 2009

Meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia
Meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia
A major cause of meningitis