Meningitis in your words

Seth Buckley's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Escherichia coli (E. Coli)
  • Age: Teenager
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Seth Buckley

Seth was born on 3 September 1993 at 38 weeks, because I had hypertension and had a Caesarean birth previously.

He was a bit fussy during the day, but because I was so busy preparing for Christmas I didn’t notice it too much. He wouldn't have his normal feed and I was a bit concerned.

That night he had a slight elevated temperature. I gave him a lukewarm bath, some panadol, and put him to bed. He was quite restless and didn’t want his feed. I thought I would take him to the doctor first thing in the morning.

"It was so rare for babies his age to get this strain"

When I put on the light to give him another dose of panadol I noticed his fontanelle was swollen. I called the paediatrician immediately and he asked me to take him straight to the hospital. The nursing staff took a lumbar puncture and asked me to please leave him there as it was going to be a long wait.

The doctor called me the next day and said that it is meningitis, that they were trying to find the strain, but that he was sure it was just viral.

I came back to the hospital in the morning to find Seth hooked up to tubes and wires and my heart broke in a million pieces. The doctor gave him some antibiotics, but they couldn’t find the strain and so thought that it was good enough.

A week later he was discharged but he was crying all the time, and getting seizures. They did another lumbar puncture and sent the specimen to another lab that discovered it was ecoli meningitis.They only had samples of antibiotics to give him intravenously; as it was so rare for babies his age to get this strain it had to be flown from an hour away.

"Seth just turned 19 is at uni studying"

The neurosurgeon said that he had hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and they would need to operate and put a shunt in. Well, my husband and I prayed and my parents prayed, and the whole church prayed and they didn’t put a shunt in, they put some drains outside of his head and drew the fluid off every day. We were told that 80% of babies do not survive and of the 20% that do, they will have something wrong.

Well, Seth just turned 19 is at uni studying to become a teacher and God has been sooo good. He has had a full recovery!! With God you can!! Thank you for letting me share my story.

Helga Buckley
September 2012