Welwyn Garden City mum recalls being told son may die after contracting meningitis

PUBLISHED: 19:29 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 19:32 18 October 2017

Roxanne Pateman with her son William. Picture credit: Roxanne Pateman.

Roxanne Pateman with her son William. Picture credit: Roxanne Pateman.

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A Welwyn Garden City mum has told the WHT “it felt like our world was ending” after her one-year-old son contracted meningitis.

William contracted meningitis three days after his first birthday. Picture credit: Roxanne Pateman. William contracted meningitis three days after his first birthday. Picture credit: Roxanne Pateman.

Roxanne Pateman’s son William developed pneumococcal meningitis from an ear infection three days after his first birthday – although it was initially missed several times.

She said that after the ear infection took hold her son became lethargic, unable to eat and was vomiting, but the family’s GP and other non-urgent NHS services felt it was a minor issue and provided routine antibiotics.

Roxanne added: “After three days with no food or water and being ‘asleep’ for 36 hours, William went floppy in my arms – he was like a rag doll. I was screaming his name but there was no response.

“We called an ambulance and were taken straight to hospital. Seven hours later we were advised he just had an ear infection and told to go home.

Nearly a year later and William is recovering well. Nearly a year later and William is recovering well.

“In my heart I knew he was seriously ill, so a few hours later we decided to take him back for a second opinion. Sadly it felt like we weren’t taken seriously enough and were left for six hours.”

Eventually William was put on two rounds of antibiotics and a steroid as a precaution, but within a few hours his condition deteriorated further and the family were told he could die.

Blood tests then revealed a serious infection, and after being rushed into surgery William was eventually diagnosed with meningitis.

“We were told that we needed to get through one day at a time,” Roxanne added. “It felt like our world was ending. No one could tell us if he would survive, and if he did what impact it would have on him. We just had to sit and wait.”

After a torturous few days William’s condition began to improve and he was eventually discharged three weeks later.

Roxanne added that the following few months were awful, with her son suffering headaches, losing weight and not being able to sleep alone.

However, this week she said: “Nearly a year later and William is doing well. He has partial hearing loss, however he appears to be on a fantastic road to recovery.”

Charity Meningitis Now is campaigning to raise awareness of the disease. For more information and to donate visit www.meningitisnow.org

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