Esther Dunphy (Mother)
Daughter Ellie Had Bacterial Meningitis In 2011
Aged 5 Weeks
Ellie was 5 weeks old when she contracted meningitis. She was 5 weeks premature and was not long home from the hospital. This particular night she seemed to be fine, sleeping as newborn babies do and drinking her bottle. She slept through the night and had not woke for a bottle until my husband got up to go to work, at which point we decided to get her up and give her a bottle, but she was floppy and drowsy and we could not wake her properly. My mother, a neonatal nurse, was just off nights so she came straight over to check Ellie out. She did not say what she thought was wrong, but decided we should go to the hospital straight away. We rushed straight up to paediatrics and there were doctors and nurses working on her straight away.
We could tell by the amount of people working on her it was serious. She was placed on a course of antibiotics for meningitis and other infections straight away, even though she had not been diagnosed at the time. She was in hospital for 4 and half weeks in total. We were told that Ellie’s hearing may be affected but that was all. She had checkups every 3 to 6 months for the year after she got meningitis and had her last check-up when she was 2 years old. We have brought her to physiotherapy a couple of times, as the side of the brain that the meningitis had been on meant that she did not like to move her head from side to side. We later brought her to a person in Clonmel, who helped her and believed the problems she had might be related to her ears.
Ellie is now in great health and enjoying life as a 2 year old should be. If I had one piece of advice for other parents it would be to always trust your instincts and don’t worry about bothering other people or doctors. It was the scariest time of my life and because of me thinking I was over reacting, I could have lost my daughter that day.