‘I feared los­ing both of my beau­ti­ful ba­bies’

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - EXCLUSIVE - By Janet Boyle jboyle@sun­day­post.com

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.

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