· By Tiny Hearts Education
Why I want you to hug your babies right now
At 16 months old, my son contracted Meningitis.
He caught viral and bacterial Haemophilus Influenza type S (HIS). He was vaccinated against HIB (Haemophilus Influenza type B).
He had no textbook symptoms what so ever! He had been sick two days with cold-like symptoms. He had one vomit and temperature that went away with Panadol - nothing out of the ordinary for young kids. The only warning sign for me was that was very sleepy. For this, I took him to the hospital where he was admitted straight away and fell very ill very, very quickly.
When we were in the emergency department, he had blood taken to assess him, and they do a test to see the level of infection in someone's body (I've forgotten what it's called). I was told the typical number was 0-12 (under 20) and he was well over 300. So they knew he was very sick very quickly.
He was in the hospital for a total of 10 days; then for a month, we had a nurse come out and do hospital in the home and went into hospital once a week for a redress of central IV.
He is now 3.5 years old and sustained long-term effects from the Meningitis. He became profoundly deaf and now wears Cochlear implants - he has no normal hearing and only hearts mechanically via the implants. He also has issues with his balance.
After the diagnosis, he lost all ability to move and head to learn to how to roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, walk and run. Because he sustained a sudden loss of movement and had a relatively quick recovery to get back to walking, it has had major effects on his balance and core stability. He has weekly speech therapy and goes to a fantastic kinder that caters for all children with hearing loss.
He is our miracle baby that is so lucky to be alive. Once contracting bacterial HIS Meningitis you roughly have 24 hours to live.
I'm honestly so glad I was somewhat naive about what was going on at the time and didn't really understand the severity of how deadly the disease was at the time. We also didn't find out he was deaf until about four weeks after he contracted the disease, but they had told us that it would have happened pretty instantly once it reached his brain.
Doctors do not know how or why he got it. We have done so much testing of his immune system, but all is normal. As we kept getting told it was just one of those very very very unlucky things.
My point is that sometimes illnesses don't have textbook symptoms. So, I want you to love, hug and try and live in every moment now because things change and can happen within an instant!