Meningitis in your words

Melissa Pathirana's story

  • Location: UK
  • Categories: GBS (Group B streptococcal)
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Melissa Pathirana

I never even thought I could lose a baby cause I'd had a healthy child 11 years before. My pregnancy was fine no real problems. But at 34 weeks and 6 days my waters broke unexpectedly. At 4.34 am on the 6/1/21 my first daughter Indie was born beautiful and seemingly healthy.

We asked the hospital to give her antibiotics as my waters had broken 15 hrs before but that wasn't long enough. For that first 24hrs we were kept in hospital cause she was cold . But I was sure there was something wrong ... indie slept most of the day only eating twice, when she was awake she rolled her eyes, and seemed like she was choking. No matter how much we wrapped her up her temperature only raised a degree. Her hands and feet were blue. But the several nurse and doctors I met told me not to worry she was finejust a little premature and I was lucky she wasn't in an incubator.

On the 7th Indie was wide awake staring into space. She had started to make weird sounds and her heart was beating fast. I took off her clothes to see blotches all over her body. I screamed for the very people who had dismissed my concerns and then she was rushed to the nicu and we were told she was seizing and had a heart rate in the 100s . They fought to save her, her heart stopped but very quickly she was back with us. Our little warrior princess.

She was rushed to a specialist hospital and We were told she had contracted strep b from birth ... from me . I had given her meningitis and sepsis . Her CRP count was in the 200's and white blood cell Count was over 3000 . These are usually 20 . She was really really sick but we had caught it early and she should be fine.

Her seizures seemed to stop and for 10 days we sat by her side for 24hrs. We never left her once, in those ten days , they put her on 6 different drugs, ventilated her and preformed an MRI, CT scan and an EEG . Being in the Nicu was a roller coster ride of emotions. One minute she was fighting the infection, the next she had a collapsed lung. Then she opened her eyes, a glimer of hope for us. the we found out she was having silent seizures. We were told we would not know the extent of the damage this disease had on our daughter until her MRI but even then it would be all dependent on her development

I google and Googled, for 10 days I didn't slept I want to know what was going to happen to my little girl. Would she ever walk, talk or even smile. She had fought so hard, even the doctors were praising her. She was on the highest sedation to stop the seizures but she still kepts trying to open her eyes. But on the 15th we got the devastating news that her MRI showed her brain was so damaged beyond repair . We were left with a choice to let her live a life of pain with a life expectancy of four or let her go now peacefully.

No one got to met Indie because of covid . We never got to show her off or get support. We got a total of 26hrs as a family because me and my partner weren't allowed in the hospital together until we took her of the machines . Indie fought for every breath gasping for life, while we held her frail body. she stayed with us for 26 hrs after she was taken of her ventilator. At the last hour she open her eyes and looked at her dad as if to say good bye. She had fought so hard for nothing and been put through all that pain. All because the uk don't check for GBS , they don't tell pregnant women about it and the nurses and doctor don't even know the symptoms .. simple antibiotics would have saved her life. It would of saved us a life time of pain, guilt and longing for our little princess .

We had to go home to an empty cot, pack up all her unworn clothes and toys and put our 4 pound baby in the ground

Melissa Pathirana
October 2021

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