Meningitis in your words

Thain Mearns's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: MRF - Disease
  • Age: Toddler 1-3
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Amputations
Thain Mearns

Hi. On 27th October 2015 my 8 month old son became very sleepy. I woke him to take my eldest to nursery, but he hardly stirred. I took him there and back and he slept all morning. I went to pick eldest up again, he never made a noise - nothing.

My partner at the time came home at 2pm from work and I told him my concerns. He phoned an ambulance and they came took his obs. All were fine. 
From my house to the hospital, 5 mins away, where we got took to get him doubled checked, he got a blotchy rash. The hospital had no concerns as it was disappearing when pressed. They described him as just having a lazy off day and just needing plenty of cuddles.

"Get him to hospital, as something isn't right"

I had a doctor appointment later that day. Within an hour getting there his temp went to 38.9 from 37. The hospital doctors said it was just a virus, to just give him Calpol/ibuprofen, but there was just no life to him - he wasn't our wee boy.

Anyway, next day, 28th October, I was getting scared. About 4pm his skin colour turned yellow. We phoned an ambulance but yet again the obs caused no concern, even though his hands were freezing. The ambulance person asked, “What do you want us to do with him?”, I said, “Get him to hospital, as something isn't right".

Got to hospital, he was rushed straight to resuscitation and we got the terrible news that it was meningitis. They were treating him for bacterial, but until they ran tests, they weren't sure what type it was.

The consultant said to me that if we had left it another hour he wouldn't be here getting treated, he’d be in a coffin. On the Friday 30th, he was meant to get a lumbar puncture, as they couldn't give him it sooner as he was just too fragile. I felt so helpless. I couldn't hug him or touch him. He would just moan.

When his results came back not only did he have bacterial meningitis, he had viral too, plus sickness, diarrhoea, and a cold flu virus. He finally got home after 10 days.

He had to get a follow up MRI scan as lesions showed up on his CT scan. The MRI in February showed that it just blood vessels showing up more with his brain being swollen.

He couldn't eat properly. He lost his side to side and round and round movement of his tongue. We had to retrain him back to first stage baby food.

He’s still having ongoing tests for his hearing as they think he may need grommets. His general development got put back a good 3 months.

Main point is all the professional couldn't notice the signs.

Jennifer Torrie
May 2016