On the 1st December 2000, my son Ryan, aged 3, contracted meningococcal septicaemia. Just two weeks previously I had attended a Foundation-run meningitis seminar through work - thank God!
Ryan was absolutely fine that day, ate his dinner and went to bed as usual at 8pm. At around midnight I went to check on Ryan as I always did, and found him burning hot. I woke him up to give him Calpol, and he began to be sick all over his bed. After I had cleanI didn'ed him up and given him Calpol, he went back to sleep in my bed. But, just two hours later, he was sick and burning again and I knew something wasn't right. I decided to check Ryan over for any spots and found a small purple blotch beside his genitals. I remembered at the seminar I had attended, how to carry out the glass test; the blotch didn't fade at all, so I called G-Docs and told the doctor that I thought Ryan had contracted meningitis. The doctor asked why I was so specific and I told him I had attended a meningitis seminar and knew the signs/symptoms. The doctor told me to take Ryan straight to A&E and he would call to let them know I was on my way.
I was so calm - Ryan was still being sick and becoming semi-conscious, the blotch was still there, but so were a few more new blotches and some spots had appeared. I drove Ryan straight to hospital; I must have driven through every red light on the way, but I knew time was of the essence and I didn't care.