PARENTS

'Mother's Instinct' Saved Baby With Meningitis From Losing Limbs

Baby Arlee showed none of the usual symptoms of meningitis.

19/08/2016 10:37

A mum saved her baby from losing his limbs after spotting he had contracted meningitis by acting on her ‘mother’s instinct’.

Leah Edge, 23, was convinced something was seriously wrong with her three-month-old son Arlee Heath when he became “hot and clammy”.

So despite him showing none of the usual symptoms of meningitis and having no rash, she decided to take him to a walk-in centre on 14 July, and tests confirmed he had contracted meningitis.

“He is normally such a happy little boy and I just knew inside me that something serious was wrong with him,” she said.

“I was devastated to find out it was meningitis. I didn’t believe it at first, I asked the surgeon if he was going to die.”

Stoke Sentinal / SWNS.com

The mum-of-two, from  Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said Arlee woke up as normal on 14 July but was shaking by midday and then had a temperature later in the day.

Edge, who also has another son Ashton-Lee, four, with partner Ashley Heath, 25, added: “When we got home later in the day I took him out of his pram and he was red hot.

“I thought he had a temperature so I gave him some Calpol.

“Two hours later he still had a temperature so I took him into the walk-in centre in Hanley, they took his temperature and it was 41C.”

Doctors at the walk-in centre sent Arlee to the Royal Stoke University Hospital where tests confirmed he had meningitis along with septicaemia.

Within hours Arlee was facing a fight for his life as his fingers and toes started turning purple.

SWNS.com

But doctors told Edge her quick-thinking had meant the spread of the virus had been caught before Arlee was at risk of losing any limbs.

“It’s amazing he didn’t lose limbs. When I was told he had meningitis, it did go through my mind about him possibly having to lose them but we caught it early,” said Edge.

“The doctors said if I hadn’t acted as quickly as I did then it could have been a lot more serious because the meningitis would’ve spread.

“The hospital staff reacted really quickly and did everything they could straight away, I can’t thank them enough.”

Arlee stayed in hospital for over a week and is now part way through three weeks of treatment.

He will need regular check-ups to see how the meningitis may have affected him in the long term.

SWNS.com

Edge, 23, who lives in Abbey Hulton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, is now warning other parents to act quickly if they fear their child is suffering from the potentially killer bug.

“I just want people to be aware, you don’t have to see the rash for it to be meningitis.

“It’s scary because parents will wait for a rash to appear for them to be worried about meningitis.

Arlee’s grandmother Lisa Dalgarno, 42, is also calling on parents to follow their instinct if they believe their child is seriously ill.

The special needs welfare practitioner said: “It is terrifying because there were no classic signs of meningitis, it was just a temperature and how common is that? 

SWNS.com

Arlee’s grandmother Lisa Dalgarno, 42, is also calling on parents to follow their instinct if they believe their child is seriously ill.

The special needs welfare practitioner said: “It is terrifying because there were no classic signs of meningitis, it was just a temperature and how common is that?

“Thanks to Leah’s motherly instinct she took Arlee to the walk-in centre. Parents should go with their instincts.

“I’m so proud of Leah, she’s an amazing mum.”

Claire Donovan, helpline manager at Meningitis Now, said it can be difficult to diagnose meningitis in the early stages.

She added: “Parents should be aware of all signs and symptoms, don’t wait for a rash before you seek medical attention if you suspect meningitis.”

According to Meningitis Now common symptoms in babies and toddlers include:
  • Fever, cold hands and feet.
  • Refusing food and vomiting.
  • Fretful, dislike being handled.
  • Drowsy, floppy, unresponsive.
  • Rapid breathing or grunting.
  • Pale, blotchy skin.
  • Spots/rash.
  • Unusual cry, moaning.
  • Tense, bulging fontanelle (soft spot).
  • Child disliking bright light.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Convulsions/seizures.
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