Meningitis in your words

Noah Floyd's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Noah Floyd

Mid-February 2008 Noah gets Rota-virus vaccination. Within a couple of days he had explosive diarrhoea. We would have to change him at least six times a day, clothes destroyed where ever he laid or sat.

This lasted for a few days so I made a doctor’s appointment. We saw the doctor who told me it was a virus , to change his formula and he should be fine.

Another few days passed, still no improvement. Overall he was in good spirits but within minutes of eating it would run through him. I took him back to the doctor who said there was blood in his stool and that he was now allergic to his formula (which he had been on since birth), and to change it.

Then on March 3rd he started a fever and was not himself so I called the doctor’s office and got in to see the doctor first thing on the 4th. He was up half the night just miserable, the fever never really went away. I still to this day blame the shot. Another new one, no stats on this one!

"I saw the machines flat line...this just felt like a dream"

Went in there Monday morning, he had a low fever and she tested him for the flu and strep, both came back negative. We were sent home and instructed to give him Tylenol and plenty of fluids.

On the 5th he had perked up a little but still wasn’t himself, but the fever was at least going down. I stayed home with him and my sister offered to keep him the rest of the week so he could get well. I dropped him off at around 8am, and went there for an early lunch while my sister went to her class. He was asleep when I got there. He woke from his nap and he was not himself again, burning up fever 104, and he was lethargic. I told my sister when I got there he wouldn’t eat but I managed to give him more Tylenol.

When I got back to work I couldn’t get the look out of my head how my baby was looking up at me and not moving. I called the doctor’s office and they said they would see him tomorrow. I yelled down the phone that I was on my way. I left work and arrived at the doctor’s office and the minute the doctor looked at him she sent him straight to the hospital for tests.

We got to the hospital waiting to go into our room, my sister and her fianc√© came and met me there at the hospital (dad was en route). I turned to my sister and told her ‘I think Noah has meningitis’ (don’t ask me why I thought this, NO CLUE to this day). My sister said no way, he just needs some fluid. I kept checking his diaper because he smelled like urine, but his diapers were dry.

They took blood, put an IV in and started all their tests. I remember at about 1am the doctor came in and said we are going to start him on an antibiotic as we think he may have a bladder infection and we are going to put him on some oxygen as his count was low.

We tried to get some sleep, but you know how that goes. At 6.40am the nurse came in to take his temperature, which was 101.9 (lowest it had been in days). I felt good it was going down.

I went to make a cup of tea right outside the room and at 6.50am I walked back into the room and heard Noah make this high-pitched squeal. I ran over to him, screamed for my husband and Noah had started foaming at the mouth and having a seizure. We raised the alarm and about 12 nurses and doctors surrounded the bed.

I had to usher my husband out of the room to start making calls and then I saw the machines flat line...this just felt like a dream. They gave him some meds and bagged him all the way down (which felt like a long time but was two minutes) to the PICU.

The next few hours are a daze; the hospital Chaplin came to speak to us both and told us we needed to call family and friends as it didn’t look good. I remember holding his favourite blue blanket and thinking what a cruel joke this was. My sisters arrived and so did my husband’s mother and some of our friends.

We were not allowed back into PICU until they stabilised him. Afterwards we found out he had not only coded upstairs but again when they tried to do the spinal tap. Noah was blessed by the bishop and my family came from Ireland as we didn’t know what was next.

Results are in, meningococcal meningitis type B. We were told if he recovered he would be deaf and mentally and/or physically handicapped. He stayed in PICU for two days and finally started breathing on his own. The day they finally let me hold him I was so afraid, he was so weak and pale and looked like a one year old child from all the swelling. He couldn’t keep his eyes open.

Long road of doctor appointments and blood work followed. He was released after seven days in hospital and had a line in for meds to be administered by the nurse who came to see us for the next 10 days.

The last year has been like 10 years. Thank God Noah is a healthy boy; he needed some physical therapy and occupational therapy to help him gain some strength and control where he needed it (right side where he took the seizure). He had his hearing tested and is 100%. We are so blessed and know that Noah is a blessing to us every day. Seeing your child have to go through something like that and you have to sit and watch as a mother I would never want ANY mother to have to witness it. Even afterwards, you are walking on eggshells with them and don’t want to take them anywhere for fear of what is out there, considering Noah contracted this deadly disease from a spore in his nose!

He had his year follow up and his neurologist said I need to by him a shirt saying ‘I survived Meningococcal Meningitis type B’, and looking at his MRI and where the bacterial was in his brain and spine he is one little miracle.

Sinead Golding-Floyd
August 2010