The next morning the doctor came back with more news. The strain of meningitis was Pneumococcal Meningoencephalitis which wasn’t just bad news it was the worst news. The type that Charlie had was a particularly nasty strain and causes terrible damage to the brain. The questions we were asking the doctor were awful. Would he die? She thought it was unlikely. It more often causes extensive brain damage but it doesn’t often kill. We now know that the stats are 10-15% of people with this strain die. Probably a good job we didn’t know.
At some point on the Saturday they told us Charlie was having seizures. He was very heavily sedated so it was difficult to tell but at times he was cycling his legs. This was likely to be a seizure. They decided to keep him sedated while he was having them and treated them. We were told we wouldn’t know much about the effects all this had had on his brain until he started responding to the antibiotics which could be 48 hours after they were started.
James came to visit Charlie in the afternoon. He had a box over his head to help his oxygen levels so we told James Charlie was pretending to be a spaceman! That was the last time he would see him.
Early evening came and nothing was happening so we decided to go home and get a change of clothes. We’d been away around half an hour when the phone rang. Charlie’s breathing had deteriorated and he needed to be transferred to Intensive Care. They were trying to track a team down to come and collect him. We rushed back to the hospital. After a lot of organising the team in Alder Hey was able to come and get him. It took hours to get him ready and get him on the ventilator ready to travel.
We weren’t allowed with him so we had to travel separately by car. It’s about an hour from us. That journey was such a surreal experience. It was around midnight when we were travelling and the radio station was playing party songs. Better than depressing love songs i suppose.
It took just as long to get him sorted once we arrived at Alder Hey. We finally got a room around 3.30am and slept til 8. That was a good night's sleep for me!