24 June 2019 - it was 8pm and myself and my partner Jack were playing with our little baby boy Leo, who was just short of four months old.
He was giggling away as his daddy tickled him, but fast forward an hour and everything was different. Leo had been more clingy throughout the day but I just put that down to it being a hot day and he wanting more snuggles.
By 9:15pm he was very unsettled, hot to touch, temperature was 37.8 and kept holding his breath for short periods of time. We just felt something wasn't right so we called the NHS on 111, who said a GP would call within two hours.
We gave Leo some Calpol but as the time went on he became extremely hot to touch and was groaning in his sleep, so we checked his temperature again and it had shot up to 38.5. I called 111 back and they felt he needed to be seen straight away so sent a paramedic. She was lovely and did all his observations - by this point his temperature was 38.9 and his heart rate was above 200. She decided we needed to go to the hospital quickly so requested backup, which arrived within minutes and they blue lighted us to the hospital.
When we arrived at the hospital Leo was still unsettled and his heart rate and temperature were still very high. The doctor thought it could have been viral but he didn't want to take any risks as it could have been an infection. So he had bloods taken, a lumbar puncture and a cannula put in and he was started on IV antibiotics straight away. It was awful watching and hearing him have this treatment, but we knew it was what he needed.
By the time we got to the ward his temperature had started to settle along with the heart rate. They told us the bloods would be back in the morning and the lumbar puncture would take 48 hours.
When Leo woke in the morning, he took some of his bottle (which was a good sign) and he even gave us a few smiles. He was having regular observations, and the doctors came to see us. They said that nothing showed up on the blood or urine tests, but that they would have to send them off to the lab and they would be back at the same time as the lumbar puncture results. Leo appeared to be feeling a bit better and his observations were ok, so they decided we could go home in the evening and come back on the Wednesday and Thursday for the IV antibiotics until the results were back. They explained to us that if an infection showed they may have to do more antibiotics, but if nothing showed then it would have been a viral infection, therefore the antibiotics would have been stopped. Everyone seemed hopeful that it was a viral infection, because his observations had started to return to normal and he was slowly taking his feeds better and giving us his cheeky little smiles. It was a lovely feeling to take him home on the Tuesday night in his own environment and having lots of cuddles.