He nodded. I sank back into the chair and sobbed so hard that I lost all sense of my surroundings.
Joseph's fight had begun. I sat for hours staring at him and I just wanted to take it all away. I wondered if I had done anything to cause it. By the evening they seemed to think he would get through it. Joseph was in the intensive care room for a few days. It was such a relief during the following week when his pain subsided. The bacteria levels were dropping rapidly and his temperature stabilised.
During that week one of the nurses asked if I had heard of the Meningitis Research Foundation. I said I hadn't and she got the website up on the computer. I knew I would make contact but didn't feel able to right then. During this time I began to worry about what the disease was doing to his brain and hearing. I began standing behind his bed clapping to see if there was any response.
After about a week the doctor suggested we take Joseph home and bring him in daily for his IV antibiotics, which we did. After about two weeks Joseph was discharged. It was two days before Christmas and we were all exhausted.
I phoned the MRF in January 2007 and they put us in touch with a befriender. It was a relief to share experiences.
Joseph then had about three follow-up checks with the paediatrician and continued to have hearing tests. The audiologist discharged him last summer as it was felt that his hearing had not been damaged. Joseph can walk, he is learning to talk and appears to respond normally. It may be that he needs some extra help at school in the future, it's too early to tell, but right now we feel the most fortunate parents in the world to still have him. We continue to support the MRF.
Written by: Janine Dunbar