Sophie’s column: Make sure you know signs of meningitis

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I was slightly wary to write my article about the following subject this week but was urged by my mum and auntie to take the leap.

I’m confident readers will become more vigilant as a result of this awareness-raising article.

We were blessed with a new member of our family last year. Aidan Tripney was brought into the world by his mum, Stacey, and my big cousin, Marcus, and since then has been showered with love.

Two weeks ago, my mum and I jumped at the opportunity to look after Aidan.

Although we knew he was feeling a little under the weather, no one thought anything more other than he was suffering from a cold.

But last Monday, Aidan was admitted to hospital. Quickly, it was determined that he would be receiving treatment for bacterial meningitis. To say it shocked our family would be a gross understatement.

However, crucially, Marcus and Stacey knew the steps they had to take.

I have the utmost respect for them both for realising the measures required to ensure their baby’s safety.

So here’s a quick reminder: if your baby develops a rash which doesn’t disappear under a cold glass, react quickly. Do not ignore unusual behaviour, such as refusing food, unusual crying or a dislike of being handled. Trust your instincts.

It was the combined effort of a knowledge of the key signs of meningitis and the quick response of the GP and doctors who treated Aidan which led to his discharge from hospital.

On behalf of the Tripneys and the rest of our family, I want to pass on our gratitude. We only hope this horrible situation raises awareness so other families don’t have to go through anything worse.