George And Martha Garvey (Parents)
Daughter Katie Died Of Meningococcal B In 2006
Aged 22 Weeks
We lost Katie to meningitis on the 14th of February 2006. She was just 22 weeks old. Katie was a very healthy, happy baby. I had a check-up in Dublin on the 12th of February, so my friend offered to look after her for me until my husband returned from work. I got home at about 9:00pm that night. George thought she was teething as she was a bit irritable, so he put Bonjela on her gums and I put her down for the night. She slept well and woke up at 7:30am the next morning. George lifted her into bed beside me before he left for work. We had our usual cuddles. She was full of smiles and was almost laughing when I sang old McDonald to her. We got up at about 9:00am. When I was dressing her I noticed a pimple-like spot on her chest.
I pressed it but it didn’t bother her. I rang my friend to see if it was there on the previous day. She said no and that they had a great day with her. So thinking it must be a spot, I decided to leave it and keep an eye on her. When I tried to give her a bottle, she didn’t want to be held, so I put her into her bouncer. She drank it all, followed by some baby rice. I started to introduce solids. She ate it all, but started to get a bit irritable. She had no temperature so I put her down for a nap. Her feet were very cold. She slept for about an hour. She woke up crying and very irritable again. I gave her some Calpol thinking it was teething pain. I rang my mum. She said she’d call later to see her.
I checked the spot, but it was the same as earlier. She ate 2 yogurts. Still not wanting to be held, I put her playing on a play mat. She seemed tired again, so I put her down for a nap. She wouldn’t sleep in her cot, so I put her in my bed with pillows around her. I was checking her repeatedly. My brother called and I asked him to check her. He said she was asleep and she looked fine. About 30 minutes later, my friend that had her the day before called. She went to get her from the room so she could look at the spot. When she was picking her up we noticed she had been sick in her sleep. She was extremely pale and washed looking. She had a temperature and was very lifeless, so we got into our friends car and drove straight to the doctor 10 minutes away.
She seemed to be getting worse as we got nearer the doctor. When the doctor opened her baby grow, the spot had turned purple and more pronounced. She rang an ambulance saying that it looked like meningitis or pneumonia. She then gave Katie a penicillin injection. Once we reached the hospital everything was hectic. I was questioned about the day and I said I honestly thought she was teething because she was eating and drinking and smiley in the morning. They congratulated me on getting her there so quick. We still did not know what was wrong. My husband arrived within minutes. I noticed little pin prick spots appearing all over her body, even under her finger nails.
They decided to sedate her then and within 40 minutes they came back to us saying that it was meningococcal b and that they were moving her to intensive care. As the hours went on I could tell she was getting worse. I put my hand on her head and I could feel it swelling. At 3:40am the machines were turned off and our little girl was handed to us. As she took her last breath, her little body was taken over by a rash. It’s still very hard to believe. It happened so fast.