Leeds mum living with aftershocks

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Kathy Thompson’s baby son Charlie was just 20 days old when he became seriously ill with e-coli meningitis.

The brave youngster fought back from the disease but Kathy says the experience was like a bombshell exploding in their family, and the aftershocks are still happening.

Kathy, who lives at Richardson Crescent and works at Victoria Primary Academy, said nine-month-old Charlie is coping now.

“I first noticed Charlie was unhappy being handled. He had a temperature of 38 and I called 111, who told me to head to the out of hours GP. He diagnosed constipation or a virus and sent us home, even after I raised my concerns over cold hands and feet, plus a high-grade temperature in so tiny a baby. We were sent home.

“The doctor advised us to contact our normal GP the following day. During the night Charlie was worse. He didn’t want to be touched, was very disorientated and very out of sorts.”

In the morning Kathy took her other children Harry, 10, and George, 6, to school, but had a bad feeling about Charlie and called the GP.

Charlie was sent to hospital straight away and within 45 minutes of arriving was given a lumbar puncture and was put on antibiotics for 48 hours.

Kathy added: “He was so tiny they struggled to cannulate him. His arms were all used up trying and his only option was his foot. They started him on all sorts. Machines were popping, people were rushing. All the time my heart was breaking for him.

“We were given a room, with isolation stickers all over the doors and within 24 hours there was a positive on his lumbar puncture for bacterial meningitis. I couldn’t see my other two children because we were isolated. Or my husband Lee.

“The next day Charlie had to go to theatre. The strain was e-coli and he needed 21 days of iv antibiotics. Having to surrender him to theatre and giving him that last kiss nearly finished me off.”

After over two hours of surgery to insert a picc line, his temperature gradually started reducing and Kath found out it was an e-coli strain, but bowel, stomach and urine samples were negative.

“Charlie was born with the assistance of forceps and as a result, got a squashed eye and blocked tear duct,” said Kathy.

“He was started on eye infection drops at seven days old. They suspect this might have been an entry point.”

After a week in high dependency and daily IV therapy, Charlie is progressing well.

“He’s a very happy little boy, and we are so lucky to have him alive in our arms.

“Meningitis was like a bombshell that exploded in our family and the after shocks are still very much happening to this day, added Kathy who is suffering with anxiety, OCD and gets flashbacks.

MP Rachel Reeves.

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