Meningitis in your words

Parker Oconnor's story

  • Location: UK
  • Categories: Viral
  • Age: Young child 3-5
  • Relationship: Child
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Learning difficulties, Memory loss, Sight problems, Mental health problems
Parker Oconnor

My son had viral meningitis at fourteen weeks old. 

Parker was born with pneumonia at 42 weeks, a whooping 9"11. 

After meningitis, I noticed massive changes in my baby, the quiet baby who slept through the night and hardly cried, was angry or in pain settling him became a full-time job. 

Nearly six years later he is waiting to be assessed for ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). He displays autistic traits, sensory processing disorder, social and emotional disregulation, pica, sleep and concentration issues. 

Parker's meningitis was viral, which thank god research, is now showing the effects of this on children.  The stigma behind neurological disorders and "lazy mother" is uncomprehendable. If it wasn't for having a older child who doesn't have neurological issues a health visitor told me it would be seen as my bad parenting! 

I am now a first year learning disability nurse which I will specialise in neurological disorders. I want to raise awareness about the side effects and give parents the opportunity to be believed and give the people effected by this a voice.

Veronica Oconnor
November 2023

Life changing. I hope the awareness to viral meningitis and long term effects are more recognised.

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