I rang our GP, Dr Kenney, and she asked me what Josh’s symptoms were and then she told me to do the tumbler test, which I did and the rash stayed. At hearing this my doctor said she would come straight round. I called up to Josh’s dad and told him the doctor was on her way and it was likely Josh had meningitis; he went as white as a sheet.
The doctor turned up in no time at all and she drove us to the hospital herself. She was taking no chances at all. Luckily the hospital is five minutes from where we live. Josh’s dad stayed at home to look after our four-year-old daughter Jess.
At the hospital the doctors were waiting for us because Dr Kenney had rung ahead. They took Josh from me and lay him on the bed. They were asking me lots of questions about how long he had been ill and they needed to know his weight so they could work out how much medication to give him. By now Josh had been ill for 13 hours. None of it seemed real to me, it felt like I was watching this and it was happening to someone else. Once they had all the information they needed the doctors began putting drips into Josh. By this time my head was spinning. I remember asking if Josh was going to be OK. The doctor looked me in the eye and told me that Josh was very sick and the next 24 hours were crucial.
A couple of hours later the people from infection control came to talk to me – they needed to know the names and numbers of people who had been in contact with Josh in the last 48 hours so they could be given a one-off dose of antibiotics as a prevention. As Josh had been baptised two days earlier it turned into chaos; our local health centre ran out of the antibiotics because so many people turned up.
The next 24 hours were the longest of my life. He received round the clock care – the doctors and nurses were fantastic. I was able to stay with him and Josh’s dad stayed home to look after Jess and would come to see us every day, as did my sister Ness who made sure our every need was catered for. Other family and friends came too, but were not allowed into the room where he was.