Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Sam doing well now...

My son (Sam) is back home and doing quite well now.

 

My wife and I would like to thank everyone who sent messages and prayers, the support we have received has been fantastic, thank you all.

 

On Friday (19th) Sam started to feel rough, high temperature, crying, loose stools etc. Sam had never been this bad before so Sarah spoke with NHS Direct who advised he had some Calpol and plenty of fluids, if he got any worse we should take him to the GP. We had a rough night on Friday and while changing a nappy early Saturday morning I noticed a rash. The glass test showed the rash remained, so, we took Sam over to the NHS walk-in centre at Loughborough where the Doctor took one look and immediately prescribed a Penicillin shot which he administered seconds later. He advised us to get Sam to A&E at Leicester Royal Infirmary and to not worry about speed (he said he would assist me if anything went to court).

 

We arrived at A&E and found we were expected, they had already got a cubicle set up and had the staff ready to help Sam. He had some IV's put in and was plugged into an array of machines.

 

He continued to deteriorate and was admitted to the children's Intensive Care Unit. We were able to see him a few hours later. He was fully sedated and had been paralysed to prevent him moving. The doctors explained that he had a variant of Meningitis and that a blood test would reveal which one (although it didn't matter which at this stage as the approach was the same).

 

Overnight Sam had suffered a collapsed lung and was really struggling.

 

He started to respond the treatment and was stabilised around midday Sunday.

 

Sam started improving and was steadily getting better, he was extubated on Tuesday evening, by Wednesday we were on a high dependency ward and out of the ICU. The nurses were absolutely amazing, can't praise them enough.

 

We were sent home "weekend leave" (I don't quite follow this but I wasn't going to not bring Sam home!). We were back on the ward Monday and Sam was discharged later that day.

 

He has been improving slowly since and is a long way back to being his old self...

 

There are several tests to be done and depending on how they go the doctors may treat Sam as an out patient or he may have to go back into hospital for anything from a couple of days to several weeks. There is the risk of brain damage, hearing damage and several other things, but Sam seems to be alert and isn't showing any significant memory or balance issues. He's just tired and a bit uncoordinated, he seems to have regressed a few weeks in his development but this is expected in an infant (so we are told). Hopefully he'll pass whatever tests are to follow in the coming weeks.

 

The tissue damage Sam has suffered (not as bad as images you'll see online if you research this illness) is being treated with a cream and oral medicine, he may have a few scars that may never fully repair, but this is a minor thing in comparison to what could have happened.

 

The doctors suspect he has had Meningococcal Septicaemia (type B caused by Neisseria Meningitidis bacterium), this may never be confirmed as the heavy weight anti-biotics Sam was given will have probably prevented the blood taken from growing spores that prove things one way or the other.

 

In many respects we have been very lucky. Sam isn’t showing any signs of long term harm and is almost back to his normal cheeky self. If it wasn’t for a couple of patches of skin damage and his bald patches you’d be hard pressed to know he was very ill only 2 weeks ago.

 

 

 

I was scheduled to be speaking at a SUGUK event on the 29th, but this was binned (for obvious reasons), thanks go out to the SUGUK community (esp to Steve and Andrew) for their support and understanding.