Meningitis in your words

Joshua and Dillon Davies's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Grandparent
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Learning difficulties
Joshua and Dillon Davies

We took Joshua, who was five months old to A&E at 5.30am. They said he had a virus and sent us away.

By 5pm he had the rash, we took him back, he nearly died. I was in resus the whole time, I watched them ventilate him, put tubes in his neck and his groin, give him a blood transfusion. It took 10 hours or more to stabilize him to be transferred to cosmic.

I had gone to work at 8am and all day he was dying of meningococcal septicaemia, I feel so guilty.

"Then we went through the whole thing again just like with Josh but Dillon had pneumococcal meningitis."

Four years later his brother Dillon at six weeks became ill. I was there by 6am, my daughter said he has his six week check at 11am lets wait till then, we did, the GP said he had never seen a baby as ill as Dillon. He rang the hospital to tell them to expect us, he told me there was not time to wait for an ambulance. He told me to drive him to the hospital in my car at once.

Then we went through the whole thing again just like with Josh but Dillon had pneumococcal meningitis.

Although I am so lucky not to have lost either of my boys I feel bereaved for Joshua, something happened to me on that night as I watched him fight for his life. I am ashamed to feel this way when I know so many of you have lost your precious babies. Why do I feel bereaved when he is still here?

Meningitis has had a massive impact on me, it is a terrible disease, doctors still do not diagnose it and children are still dying because it is not diagnosed. I will always help Meningitis Research Foundation and COSMIC in any way that I can.

To all of you affected by meningitis I send my love and prayers. Dillon is 8 now and seems fine, Josh is 11 and has learning difficulties, poor memory, headaches, speech problems but he is a lovely caring boy who would anything for his Nanny.

Chris Gasking-Coles
May 2013