It’s been all over the news lately, since two year old Faye Burdett from Kent passed away just after Valentine’s Day this year. Since then, it’s struck me how important it is for all children to be vaccinated against Meningitis because they are all at risk. The petition has now reached over 800,000 signatures and Parliament are considering it for a debate.
This topic is quite personal because my boyfriend contracted Meningitis at the age of 2 ½ and he was within an hour of dying from the illness. I can’t tell you how lucky he is to be alive and just to think I could’ve never met him.
Here’s his story, as told by his Mum:
“We took him to five different Doctors and each one told us it was an ear infection. We knew something wasn’t right with D as the antibiotics weren’t working. One day, I just woke up and he was lying next to me, almost lifeless with his eyes just staring directly at me. His pupils were black. I called the Doctor down the road and he advised us to call an ambulance straight away. It was very scary.
There was no rash, but because of the other symptoms, he was diagnosed with Pneumococcal Meningitis. He had a CT scan which showed a blood clot in his brain, which he had to have a lumbar puncture in his spine to get rid of it. The Doctor said if it was an hour later, he wouldn’t be here.
After being hospitalised for 5 weeks, he was eventually well enough to come home. D went through physiotherapy to learn to walk again as he lost so much weight. It has affected his heart too as he has low blood pressure.
He failed a hearing test and the consultant diagnosed him with profound hearing loss in his right ear, but partial hearing in the left. He was given two hearing aids but over the past few years, the hearing in his right has gradually gone. It’s sad to think the hearing in the left will go too. We had to put him through speech therapy as well because of the illness, he forgot how to talk.
I think every child should be vaccinated because nobody should have to go through what we just did. Some children have lost their limbs, others’ lives have been taken away. We’re very lucky.”
Here’s a short line from D, as it was too painful for him to talk about:
“It was horrific to go through such a thing. It’s never the Doctors who know, it’s the parents. If you know full well that your child is as bad as you think, get them to A&E. If it wasn’t for Mum calling the Doctor down the road, I wouldn’t be here today- and that’s petrifying”
Here’s how you can help…
Learn the signs and symptoms of Meningitis and share with friends and family. If you can raise awareness, there’s a chance you could save a child’s life.
You can also sign this petition
I apologise for a tearful blog post, but we’ve got to face reality and spread the word!
Love E x