West Yorkshire mum: How a Meningitis leaflet saved my son’s life


A West Yorkshire mum has told how a Meningitis leaflet helped save her son’s life.

Back in 2011 Lucas, now seven, fell ill with a temperature that hit 41 degrees and scared his mum Nickie and his dad.

They took him to A&E where they advised Calpol and sent the family home.

Nickie said: “That night I stayed downstairs with him in a travel cot watching him and by 7am he had grown so unresponsive and floppy it scared me to death. Lucas was sick, moaning and had cold hands with a high temperature.”

“My husband decided to pop out for an errand and said if he hadn’t improved by the time he got back we would go back to the hospital. During this time I decided to change Lucas’s nappy.”

“He wouldn’t drink, he was making an odd moan and he barely registered my movements as I took his nappy off. It was then I saw a very small purple rash on his groin, no bigger than my thumbnail.”

“I ran to get a leaflet on meningitis I had been given when he was born. To this day I don’t know what triggered that reaction but it saved his life.”

“As I ran my fingers down the list of symptoms my blood ran cold. I called 999 and the ambulance responder, God bless his soul, arrived within minutes, took one look at Lucas and gave him a penicillin injection, again an action that saved his life.”

Nickie recalled: “By the time we arrived at hospital Lucas’s heart rate and breathing were almost non existent and they diagnosed septicaemia, giving the air ambulance a standby instruction in case we had to go to another hospital to amputate. That next hour was the most difficult of our lives, watching our son fight for his life. But miraculously he won that fight. Minutes later and it could have been a different story but Lucas fought and won, with no lasting side effects.”

“After he had been given the okay from the lumbar puncture and was out of isolation we were in hospital for just over a week. Then he took about six weeks of home care to recover to full strength. We were one of the lucky ones.”

“It was good to read other stories on the Meningitis Now website and Facebook pages and speak to other parents.

“Both my sons, Lucas and his brother Killian, have since had the MenB vaccine.”

Meningitis Now is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.

It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.