My beautiful daughter Lily was ten and a half months old, a happy and healthy baby, when she died from pneumococcal meningitis. The first night I became concerned about her she seemed feverish and slept restlessly. I put it down to teething.
But the next morning she was lethargic and difficult to feed. She also had a slight temperature so I took her to the GP. We were referred to the paediatrician who examined her and did a chest x-ray. He said that there was no sign of an infection and sent us home with Panadol. Lily worsened overnight and I returned to the hospital in the morning. She was extremely fatigued and would not eat.
The paeditrician admitted her for blood and urine tests. Over the next few hours Lily deteriorated, becoming more drowsy and listless. When she was finally examined again, the paediatrician suspected meningitis and performed a lumbar puncture, which confirmed it.
Lily was put on heavy antibiotics but suffered a cardiac arrest a couple of hours later. Although she was revived and put on life support and flown to Westmead Children’s Hospital, she was declared brain dead the next day and her life support was shut down.
It had been less than 48 hours from when I first realised Lily was unwell to when she took her last breath.