Family’s thanks after son fights killer virus
AMUM whose son contracted a rare form of meningitis has spoken of the heartbreaking moment she was told to “prepare for the worst”.
Jake Hilton, 17, of Craig Road, was in a coma for four days after contracting a life-threatening form of pneumococcal meningitis, a rare bacterial strain of the disease.
His mum, Justine Barlow, and dad, Tony Hilton, were warned he may not wake up after he was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital’s intensive care unit.
Justine, 44, who is also mum to Callum, 18, and Savanna, 11, said: “I was petrified.
“The doctors told us he may not survive, and if he did he would probably be brain damaged and wouldn’t be walking out the same person as he was when he came in.
“One minute he was this big, strong 6ft tall lad and the next you’re being told he might not walk out. It’s heartbreaking.”
Jake, who is a student at Reasesheath College, was staying with his 16-yearold girlfriend Scarlett Luby and her family in Prest- bury when began feeling poorly.
He woke up with a severe headache and nausea and began having convulsions.
He was rushed to Stepping Hill Hospital and was diagnosed with the life-threatening strain of meningitis following a brain scan and lumbar puncture – where spinal fluid is taken from the spine.
But the brave teenager rallied and after 13 days of treatment by the unit’s staff, was ready to go home.
Justine said: “He walked out of intensive care, which the doctors said they’d never seen before with a case so serious.
“I think without the quick thinking of his girlfriend Scarlett and the Stepping Hill staff he would have died.”
Now, to say thanks, the family are raising as much money as possible for the intensive care unit.
Justine added: “Every single member of staff was fantastic. The care they gave was out of this world.”
Speaking on the Justgiving website, Jake said: “Myself and all my family feel so eternally grateful to all the hard working staff within the ICU at Stepping Hill, a thank you just doesn’t seem enough!”
Jake’s sister, who is a pupil at Ivy Bank Primary School, has already done her bit to raise funds with the help of her Year six classmates (see below).
And Jake’s uncle Antonio Cuenca Barbero is taking part in the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run in October to raise funds for the unit.
To donate visit justgiving.com/justinebarlow.
17-year-old Jake Hilton with dad Tony and mum Justine, who are spearheading a fundraising campaign for the hospital which saved his life. Right: Jake with his girlfriend Scarlett Luby at his school’s summer ball