I almost lost my two-week old son to this deadly condition
But Jack was seriously ill causing concern for mum Collette Mum Collette Carson shares her story of her son Jack and urges parents to be vigilant and make that call asking “Is it Sepsis?” She writes... We welcomed our beautiful baby boy Jack into the world, a very healthy 8lb 1oz, and we all fell in love with him.
However, when Jack was two weeks old things took a turn for the worse.
I woke up one morning and knew something wasn’t quite right.
Jack hadn’t woken up for his usual feeds (he was breastfed and fed every two hours on demand) I reached over his crib and touched him, he was burning up. I lifted him to change his nappy but he was completely dry, I noticed his tummy was swollen and when I touched it he cried.
I tried to get him to feed but he refused, he was restless and his temperature was really high and I just knew something was wrong so I called the health visitor. I explained Jack’s symptoms and lack of wet/dirty nappies and him not feeding and she said it was common for babies to have off days.
I asked if he could be constipated and she explained that babies don’t have the stomach muscles to become constipated and to run him a bath and massage his tummy to see if it could be trapped wind and she would call back at 12pm.
I ran him a warm bath but as soon as I touched his tummy he screamed.
At 12pm she called back and Jack had gotten worse, still no dirty/wet nappies and still not feeding so she said if I was really concerned to contact the doctor or she would send a health visitor.
I decided to get a second opinion but I hadn’t even registered Jack with a doctor so I phoned my own doctors and they were amazing. When the doctor saw him I instantly knew something was up. She explained that because of Jack’s young age and his temperature being high he had to be seen at the children’s hospital, she said it was probably nothing and not to worry but it was best to get him checked.
Jack underwent a lumber puncture – bloods, urine and stool samples – I had to hold down my baby whilst they put a needle in his spine. He was so brave! I was told this was necessary so they could rule out meningitis. My husband arrived and after asking the doctors several times what was happening and not receiving many straight answers it started to sink in that it wasn’t just a bug he had –he was seriously ill.
This was the first time I had ever heard of E Coli Sepsis but that is what Jack had.
This is when we started to do our research on sepsis and not only did we discover how common it was but how many victims it claimed in one year (in the UK alone there are 150,000 cases of Sepsis, resulting in 44,000 deaths.)
Jack is a cheeky, playful, 17 month old boy now and I cannot put into words how grateful we are to the doctors/nurses that treated him so quickly – they saved his life!
Jack’s journey isn’t over and I will continue to raise awareness for the silent killer that not enough people are aware of.
My advice will always remain the same: Follow your instincts, seek a second, third, fourth opinion until you are satisfied. Know the symptoms (this can be tricky as there are so many and a lot of illnesses share the same symptoms but if you’re not sure always seek medical advice). Had I been a first time mum and put it down to Jack having an off day he wouldn’t be here today and I would be writing a very different story and that is almost too unbearable to think about.