‘I feared losing both of my beautiful babies’
At just seven weeks old twin baby girls Lottie and Zara Hyland nestle into their parents’ arms.
Their chubby arms and legs fit snugly into their sleep suits.
Few people would guess that just five weeks ago the little tots were fighting meningitis side by side in the same hospital ward.
At just 17 days old, they were both fighting a battle against the virulent brain bug.
Their nightmare began when Lottie became ill with a soaring temperature as mum Catherine tried to settle her at bedtime.
“She seemed out of sorts around 10pm and was reluctant to feed so I thought she had picked up a bug,” said Catherine, 34, an investment banker, from Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire.
“By 3am, her temperature had soared to 39C and she gave a piercing cry when I tried to cuddle her,” she said.
The couple phoned NHS 24 and then rushed her to hospital.
“The duty doctor could see that Lottie was seriously ill and called for an ambulance to take her to nearby Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children,” Catherine said.
“By then sickly Lottie’s temperature was soaring to 40C and her other. The twins’ parents Richard and Catherine kept a vigil at each child’s bedside.
Within four days, Lottie was responding to the drugs and doctors assured Catherine and Richard that they were 100% sure she would recover.
However, Zarawas more seriously affected.
“She had to be given oxygen and a feeding tube was inserted in her because she couldn’t bear to take a bottle,” Catherine said.
“Her heart raced to 240 beats a minute and her temperature remained high.”
As they monitored her, doctors noticed that Zara had a heart defect.
“They picked up a narrowing of the pulmonary artery but it does not need surgery or treatment, just monitoring,” Catherine explained.
Just as quickly as they became dangerously ill, the infants recovered.
Within a week they were out of hospital, feeding well and happy to be cuddled.
Catherine smiled and said: “Babies become ill quickly and recover just as fast.”
Meningitis campaigner Prof Robert Carachi, said: “The warning signs are a piercing cry which signals that the baby is in pain, especially when they are held and cuddled.
“High temperatures can also signal serious illness in babies.”
Relieved mum Catherine with twin girls Lottie and Zara
Twin girls Zara and Lottie survived the serious bug.