Five-week-old fought off killer bug meningitis
LITTLE Amelie Thorn was just five weeks old when she was struck down by meningitis.
She spent three weeks in Bristol Children's Hospital fighting the killer bug but to look at the youngster now there is no sign of her brush with the life-threatening disease.
Meningitis and septicaemia kill one in ten of the people affected by them and leave a quarter with life-altering problems such as deafness, brain damage and the loss of limbs.
It was the quick-thinking of her parents in rushing the youngster to hospital that may well have saved her life.
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Mum Cherie and dad Darren, who also have a two-year-old daughter Nevaeh, want to raise awareness of meningitis and are dedicated to raising money for more research.
It was the youngster's breathing that alerted her mother that something was not right with her baby girl.
"Her breathing had become really rapid and her hands and feet were really cold, so we decided to take her to the children's hospital," Mrs Thorn, 28, of Kingswood, said.
It took several days for doctors to confirm that Amelie had meningitis, as they had been considering the possibility of a heart condition when she was first admitted, although Mrs Thorn said treatment for the disease had been started as a precaution.
"Once they were able to bring down her heart rate they were able to do a lumbar puncture (where a needle is inserted into the back to collect fluid to test for meningitis)," Mrs Thorn said. "It was just a really scary time. I was in hospital away from our other child and family. We just did not know what the end result was going to be.
"I did not know much about meningitis but what I had heard was quite scary. That's why I want to spread awareness so that people know there are good outcomes."
Once the type of meningitis – group B streptococcal late-onset meningitis – had been confirmed Amelie was put on the right antibiotics to fight it.
Mrs Thorn, a support worker, is organising a five-mile buggy push on Sunday, which is the last day of Meningitis Awareness Week, starting from Vassalls Park.
And her husband and other relatives are running the Bristol Half Marathon as part of their support of the Thornbury-based Meningitis Research Foundation, which funds research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis.
To take part in the buggy push email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about meningitis visit www.meningitis.org.