At St Mary’s the doctors prepared us for the worst. Not long after being put on a ventilator he suffered the first of three cardiac arrests. It was a huge shock and we were distraught. To our horror as the day went on it became clear that his chances were increasingly slim. We were told to take it hour by hour. Everything had happened so quickly it just didn’t seem real. Suddenly we were faced with the reality that he might not make it.
George was attached to countless drips, had two blood transfusions, and his body became very puffed up from all the drugs and fluid. Patches of skin on his leg had turned completely black from the septicaemia and we wondered if he would lose it. It was heartbreaking to see our boisterous little boy lying unconscious fighting for his life.
Remarkably, and against the odds, George started responding to treatment. He spent a week at St Mary’s PICU where he received outstanding care from expert doctors and nurses. We will be forever grateful to them for saving his life. The consultant told us later that George had been so poorly on admission they only gave him a twenty percent chance of survival. It feels like a miracle every day when I remember how close we came to losing him. When he finally regained consciousness it was just wonderful to hear him croak ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’.
George spent another week back at our local hospital and then began his road to recovery at home. There were many scary moments – his vision was temporarily affected, although thankfully it has now completely recovered, and he has seen an army of physiotherapists, nurses and doctors to get him back on his feet.
The Meningitis Research Foundation has been a fantastic support to our family, particularly as we had so many unanswered questions about what to expect with his recovery. George is now four and has just started school, a bright and happy little boy. We feel like the luckiest family on earth but not a day goes by when I don’t think about how different it might have been.