I phoned my husband but he is a police officer and was unable to come and sit with us, so I phoned my mum and she came up straight away. We were then seen by a nurse who checked Sachin's temperature, said it was high and gave him a suppository. We were then seen by a doctor. She checked Sachin over and admitted she didn't know a lot about children but felt that in her opinion the rash wasn't anything 'nasty'. I said that I felt something was really wrong as his behaviour 'just wasn't him' and also pointed out that not all of the rash was the same. By this time Sachin was just sat in his car seat almost staring into space. He looked pale and was that hot he was uncomfortable to hold. He didn't even like being held which again was not like him as he was so affectionate. The doctor said she would talk to some of her colleagues. She returned and said she had spoken to a consultant at the children’s ward, explained to him that she felt that there was nothing to worry about and he had suggested that as a precaution I should see him before we go home.
Upstairs in the children’s ward I was greeted by another nurse and a student doctor. By this time Sachin's behaviour had changed again – he was very agitated and wouldn't stop crying. The student doctor asked me what felt like hundreds of questions whilst I was trying to comfort my screaming unbearably hot baby. I just kept thinking why cannot I not just see the consultant? And then he walked in and everything changed into what felt like a horrible dream. I was stood in this room holding Sachin who had his face towards me and wearing nothing but a nappy. His back was covered in this rash and I saw straight away that the consultant’s eyes were focused on the blotch at the back of Sachin's neck. His manner was very serious when he introduced himself, he then took Sachin off me, quickly examined him and within 30 seconds said 'I cannot be sure but I feel that your son has bacterial meningitis and so we will treat him as if he has got it'. I just wanted to collapse, they were the worst words I have ever heard. I had instinctively known that something was very wrong with Sachin, wanted somebody to take me seriously but at the same time wanted a professional to say 'no don't worry everything is fine you can go home’.