The family of a three-year-old left with hearing loss by meningitis have warned other parents to be vigilant.
Doctors didn’t initially think Lucy Finn had the potentially fatal bug – but treated her for it anyway.
That early treatment prevented her from suffering further after-effects.
Now her thankful family have boosted awareness and raised cash for a meningitis charity by getting tots to take part in a Toddle Waddle.
Lucy’s mum Fiona said: “We want to push for people to be over-cautious.
“Lucy lost her hearing and she had the illness for a short period of time. If we had left it another 12 hours, who knows what more she could have lost.”
The youngster, from Chapel Allerton, Leeds, first became ill in November last year.
She was sick and her family thought she had a stomach bug. When she became unresponsive they contacted NHS Direct and were advised to take her to hospital.
Mrs Finn, a childminder, said that doctors at Leeds General Infirmary also thought it was a bug but started giving her antibiotics just in case.
Eventually meningococcal meningitis was confirmed through further tests, though her mum said the speed of her deterioration was shocking.
“She had gone from this little girl who was full of life to being laid on the bed, unable to sit up.”
Lucy has now recovered, though she has lost most of her hearing in one ear and has been left with balance problems.
Her mum, dad Brendan and godmother Emma Craske decided to arrange the Toddle Waddle to make other parents more aware.
Mrs Finn said: “Everybody always seems to think of a rash, but the rash is the final thing to appear.”
Around 15 youngsters and parents took part in the 1km walk at Gledhow Valley Woods, along with Lucy’s brother James, six. Mrs Finn said they were delighted to raise £1,400 for Meningitis Trust and plan to make it an annual event.