Health & Happiness: Meningitis From A Kiss? + Our Baby’s Brain Drain
Krystal worried she’d passed on an illness to her baby
We all have a group of viruses in our bodies
Krystal Hayes, 27, Worksop
The trouble began nine days after our son Gunner was born in May this year. ‘He’s burning up,’ I told my partner John, 30.
His temperature hit a worrying 38 degrees and his breathing became rapid.
And he was very sensitive, screaming whenever we touched him.
Over the phone, the midwife urged us to get him to A&E, so we rushed off to Bassetlaw Hospital.
By the time we got there, Gunner was shaking, seemed less responsive, and had a heart rate of 222 – far too fast.
A lumbar puncture revealed evidence of viral meningitis.
I felt like our world was crashing around us. ‘How did he get that?’ I asked. Doctors explained that we all have a group of viruses in our bodies that do us no harm, but become active when transmitted. They can be spread through sharing cutlery, not washing your hands, even a kiss.
I’d not stopped kissing Gunner in his first few days, nor had John and our family. Could that have caused it? ‘We can’t be sure, but it’s very possible,’ replied the doctor. John and I were so upset, but didn’t blame anyone.
After three days of treatment, Gunner’s breathing had really improved and his heart rate was down.
By his fifth day in hospital, doctors were satisfied that our little boy was finally stable, and discharged him the next day.
We were so relieved. At last we could settle in as a family.
Our daughter Graicae, 2, was so pleased to see her little brother return home.
Gunner’s ordeal has made me wonder if it’s such a good idea to smother new babies with kisses. They’re so vulnerable! Maybe a few less kisses could have saved Gunner a lot of pain.
Enjoying our new family During his hospital treatment Gunner is all smiles these days