Jenny Daniels [0:04]:
My daughter Charlotte had meningococcal septicaemia in December 2010. Charlotte was nearly three. My mum and my sister had looked after her that day, absolutely fine, normal, nothing untoward. About 10 o’clock she woke up and was very, very sick but very quickly… and just settled straight back to sleep so I just assumed that it was just a sick – one of the sickness bugs going around. I just kept an eye on her, I gave her some Calpol and it just appeared that she was asleep.
[Babies babbling, 00:46]
Jenny Daniels [0:47]:
I got my coat, my bag, ready to go to work and I just checked her, um, and she just had three really small, purple sort-of spots on her chest, and I immediately ran and got a glass. I rolled it over the spots, they didn’t fade and then by that point because I thought… I just, I was alarmed then and I called an ambulance.
[Inaudible talking [01:14]]
Jenny Daniels [1:16]:
The patrol car came, he checked Charlotte’s vital signs and obviously then called for the backup ambulance. The ambulance lady said, you know, said hold Charlotte in your arms and I think that was because she just didn’t actually know if Charlotte was gonna make it or not. And then by the time we got to the hospital, those three pinpricks had turned, you know, into like a rash all over her body and I saw the illness take over. Like her eyes turned a funny colour they went from white to, like, yellow and I just saw everything take over. The staff was waiting at the John Radcliffe and it was just from there it was like a real, real emergency fight, you know, for Charlottes life.
[Children talking inaudibly [02:09]]
Jenny Daniels [2:12]:
She was in hospital for six weeks, she was in intensive care for 16 days. Her arms and legs were covered in bandages and she was obviously very limited with that and she was, sort of, sweating terribly because obviously her limbs had died off and they needed to be removed and she was probably, I’d say, better after having the operations. She actually was, I would say, healthier and that was the start of her recovery.
Jenny Daniels (off-screen) [2:42]: An angel!
Jenny Daniels [2:44]:
When we first brought Charlotte home, we were thinking, just there and then to look after like everyday, what…what does she need? You know, we had to make sure you had lots of healthy food because her body was recovering. The ends of her legs most commonly, you know, they would bleed. It was constant nurses coming out, changing dressings.
[Inaudible off-screen talking [3:09]]
We’ve had our whole life just go from a normal life where we were meant to go on our first holiday and, you know, our child is then completely, seriously ill. Disabled overnight. We had to both leave work, so financially, you know, we were in a lot of difficulty and you know we’re still finding it – it’s very hard when you have a disabled child who has had ten general anaesthetics in under two years since leaving hospital. We’ve now found out that Charlotte does need specially made lower limbs and they cost –the first pair have cost £6000 and they last up to 12 months but can, you know, need changing after like 9 months if she has a growth spurt.
We’re just trying to be a positive family and sort of do the best we can, but obviously we have long-term financial concerns and the effect on Charlotte’s younger brother George is now becoming more apparent because he’s had to see his sister go through all this trauma over the last two years and he gets very anxious and upset and is obviously affected by the whole family ordeal we’ve had to suffer
Its only after two years now that she is really getting back to her normal self. I think there’s lots of things people don’t realise. It’s a real sort of physical and mental and emotional recovery from the illness. Obviously to find out about the possibility of the vaccine being out there soon was you know very mixed emotions for myself. I was of course very, very pleased that it could save lives and stop all these terrible things happening, you know the after effects and disabilities from the illness. But its bittersweet as well because I know myself, you know, I think what could have been for Charlotte if she had not suffered this illness.
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