Meningitis in your words

Patrick O'Donnell's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Child 6-12
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick was four years of age he woke up in the middle of the night with a high fever of 104.  I gave him medication to take the fever down. He slept through the night and next morning became very sick, vomiting. We brought him to the doctors at 9am and were told he had the bug and to give him plenty of fluids and meds to keep his fever down.

We brought Patrick home and he slept for awhile then started vomiting again. I took off his clothes and at that point noticed a rash on his belly. I called my doctor and she told me to take him straight to the ER.

"I knew this was very serious"

Patrick was still vomiting when we reached the ER where they took him right away and did blood tests. All the tests came back normal but he still had a high fever and was still vomiting so they decided to keep him in for the night. At this point they had no idea what was going on with him.

He was admitted and given a private room and as the night passed I could see the rash turning purple. They thought he had Fifth Disease so kept a close eye on him.

The next day another doctor came in and checked him again and said it was Fifth Disease. The doctor left the room and when I tried talking to Patrick he told me he couldn't hear me. I ran and told the doctor and Patrick was rushed out of room and given the test for meningitis. They came back and told me Patrick had bacterial meningitis. I couldn't believe what I was hearing as I knew this was very serious.

They told me the next 24 hours would tell and Patrick's rash had spread all over at this point. He was put on antibiotics and thank God they worked. Patrick had a full recovery and is now almost nine with no after effects. He gets a hearing test done every three months and to this point has had no problems.

Maria O'Donnell
July 2012