Meningitis in your words

Ralphy Joshua Bell's story

  • Location: Wales
  • Categories: Pneumococcal
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Epilepsy - Seizures (Fits)
Ralphy Joshua Bell

On October the 26th, our lives changed forever, when our baby boy was rushed into intensive care with meningitis and encephalitis.

Ralphy was fine the night before and went to bed happy, waking at 1.00 in the morning with a raging temperature and sickness. I gave him Calpol and nursed him in my arms all night.

I rang out of hours at 6.30 in the morning as I couldn't get Ralphy’s temperature down and he was tugging on his ear. I just put it down to an ear infection. Our appointment was at 10.36, 2 minutes later and our baby wouldn't be here today!!

Getting to the out of hours, Ralphy’s fontanel was raised and I knew from the look on the doctor’s face Ralphy was very poorly. Everything from here was a blur as we were taken by blue lighted ambulance to the Heath hospital in Cardiff.

"Our lives changed forever, when our baby boy was rushed into intensive care with meningitis and encephalitis."

Eight doctors were waiting as the ambulance arrived and took our baby boy out of our hands! Ralphy was fighting for his life, the doctors were putting drips all over Ralphy, arms, legs and in his head. We were told to expect the worst and they didn't think Ralphy would make it.

He was then taken to intensive care where he was sedated for 8 days because his body had shut down. Ralphy had 3 brain scans, MRI scans, and lumber punctures. He also needed blood transfusions. Ralphy had swelling on the brain and his little body was fitting every 5 minutes!! Nothing seemed possible!! And I just hung on for every hope possible!!

After 8 days of fearing the worst, our baby boy was taking out of his coma and woken up! Ralphy spent 3 more weeks in high dependency and the children's hospital. He had tests after tests to check he could swallow and tolerate food.

After 3 weeks we were able to take our baby boy home. It was the happiest day of our lives and Ralphy’s sister Macey was very excited for her baby brother to be coming home.

Ralphy is on medication twice a day for his seizures and he has physio each week as he was left with brain damage which affected his left side of his body.

We still can't believe what Ralphy went through and every day is very precious!!

Zoe Bramhall
February 2014

Detailed information about the after effects of meningitis

Many of the after effects of meningitis aren't immediately obvious. In this blog, Support Manager Cat explains how we can help.
Stories that inspire us to create a world free from the diseases.

Whether you are living with the after effects of the diseases or coping with the death of a loved one, we are here for you.

Provide a lifeline for those in need
Provide a lifeline for those in need
£6/€7.20/$8 pays for a 30 minute call from a trained support officer.

They listen to the issues faced by someone struggling with the impact of meningitis, and provide detailed information and support.
Membership and support

The MRF Membership and Support team are here for you for any questions you might have about meningitis and septicaemia and their effects on you, or your family and friends.

Tel: Helpline UK 080 8800 3344 Ireland 1800 41 33 44