Meningitis in your words

Sam Dodd's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Toddler 1-3
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Sam Dodd

Where to start? It's 20 years ago this month since we lost the light of our lives.

Sam the man was a happy healthy toddler who loved life. He never sat still. He was my little shadow, always by my side. This is one of the many reasons why life is so hard without him.

On 3rd November 1998 I woke Sam up as usually for nursery. He wasn't his usually self and a little snotty and feeling hot so I decided to keep him at home. I let Sam sleep on the sofa whilst I got his elder brother Jamie ready for school. I dropped Jamie off and took Sam home to let him sleep off his bug.

After he woke from his nap Sam was violently sick followed by foul smelling diarrhoea, when changing Sam I noticed 2 little spots on the back of his leg. I wasn't immediately concerned by this as Sam had eczema but with his other symptoms I decided to do the glass test. When the spots didn't disappear under the glass and with Sam deteriorating I rushed Sam to my doctors which was only 5 minutes away.

"I could not believe how fast my son was deteriorating. The spots were spreading before my eyes."

The doctors immediately pumped Sam full of antibiotics and phoned for an ambulance. I could not believe how fast my son was deteriorating. The spots were spreading before my eyes.

Sam still being Sam was trying his best to laugh and joke with the nurses, telling them what Santa was bringing him for Christmas. Sam's little hands and feet were purple and he was covered head to foot in the rash, it was heart breaking.

A medical team was sent from Leeds to Dewsbury district hospital to ventilate Sam and transfer him to Leeds as Dewsbury didn't have a paediatric intensive care unit.

As Sam was placed on the ventilator his little heart stopped beating and despite everybody's best efforts Sam could not be resuscitated. He passed away at 7.30 pm that evening.

"Meningitis shattered our world that day. Our family will never be the same again."

My reason for sharing my story is to raise awareness of the speed that meningitis can and does spread.

Sam's brother is raising money in his memory by doing a walk from Fleetwood to Bradford setting off from Fleetwood on Thursday 7th February 2019 and arriving at Bradford City's ground on the Saturday 9th February just before kick-off. He is doing this with 9 friends and family. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. We have a just giving page to raise funds for this

Thank you for reading Sam's story x

Sally Emmett
November 2018

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