Dave And Yvonne Sheehan (Parents)
Son Robbie Died Of Waterhouse-Friderichsen Syndrome In 2007
Aged 2 Years And 8 Months
Robbie passed away on the 2nd of April 2007, aged 2 years and 8 months, from waterhouse-friderichsen syndrome, a form of bacterial meningitis (meningococcus). Robbie was a busy little lad. We had been staying in his granny’s house while I was at a rugby match in Naas. On our way home Robbie said he was tired and wasn’t feeling very well, so he went to bed on returning home. During the night, about 11:00pm, Robbie started vomiting, so we took him in with us, but he wouldn’t settle. He started moaning and calling for one of his cousins. We turned on the light and Robbie was as white as a ghost. As a paramedic I was concerned, so I brought him straight to Portlaoise hospital at about 5:30am to 6:30am on the Sunday morning.
Robbie was seen straight away, where he had a seizure while being assessed. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Robbie. They weighed him and gave him fluid intake. He was then sent to the high dependency unit, where paediatric nurses were in and out. Unfortunately Robbie was not getting any better. About 8:00pm on the Sunday night, Robbie started vomiting again and wanted a drink. He calmed then for a few minutes. I rolled Robbie over and saw 3 spots behind his ear, so I opened the baby grow where the spots started to appear. His circulation started to shut down. Robbie was transferred to Temple Street hospital. Paramedics were working on him in the back of the ambulance.
My wife was driving behind us with family and I was in the front of the ambulance. They had to sedate Robbie for the journey. His arms and feet were cold at this stage and he was covered in a rash. When we got to Temple Street hospital it was approximately 2:00am on the Monday morning. Once he had stabilised, the nurse came to tell us to call the family in. The two grannies had travelled up at this stage to the hospital with extended family. My wife and I went in to see our little boy hooked up with lines and drips to a monitor. We kept telling him to get better and that we were buying him a dog and a tractor, just to get better. After a while in the family room, we were telling the grannies that it would be one step at a time.
Sitting looking at the walls, a nurse burst in and wanted Yvonne and I to go straight to the cubicle. I saw the doctors doing compressions and CPR on Robbie. The consultant said for me to go up and comfort him and talk to him. I spoke to Robbie, willing him to get better, but the consultant recommended to stop CPR, that Robbie had passed away. The time was 6:30am on the 2nd of April 2007.