A Dalkeith mum has revealed she is “forever in debt” to the nursery staff who spotted the warning signs of her son’s meningitis.
As well as heaping praise on staff at Pinocchio’s Nursery in Eskbank, Tracy McShane (27) is also keen to highlight the killer disease to parents.
On January 5, staff at Pinocchio’s phoned an ambulance when Joey McShane (3), took unwell. He was diagnosed with meningitis, and stayed in hospital for almost a month. The family were told by doctors that Joey’s life was saved by the response of the nursery staff.
Mum Tracy, a team leader for Aspire care agency, told the Advertiser: “I’m forever in their debt.
“You can’t see meningitis and he never had the spots or any other signs that the doctors tell you to look out for.
“He just had a fever.
“The nursery phoned me at ten to eight to ask if he had been unwell overnight.
“He had a temperature but he had been fine and ate his breakfast no problem.
“They phoned me again as I got in the car, to say they had called an ambulance and that he was non-responsive.
“I’m a single parent so we are together all the time.
“If I had had him that day I would have given him some calpol and let him lie on the couch and watch the telly.
“And I would have thought nothing of it if he fell asleep. But he would have been in a coma.”
Tracy was keen to share her story to make parents aware of the deadly condition. Bacterial meningitis kills more UK children under the age of five than any other infectious disease.
She said: “They catch stuff at nursery all the time so the paramedics thought it was chicken pox at first. It was just one spot on his back that alerted everybody at the hospital he had meningitis.
“We could then see them just appearing. He ended up with about 20 or 40 on his back. He had had none at the nursery and none on the way. By the time we got to the Sick Kids he had a couple but they were at the back of his ears, where chicken pox start appearing.
“But when we lifted up his shirt he had more appearing on his back.
“All he wanted to do was sleep and he was shaking because his temperature was up and down.
“He had a lumber puncture needle in the spine which discovered the meningitis. He also had blood poisoning. We were in hospital for 18 days. He spent his third birthday in there.”
Jodie Stockman, supervisor of Joey’s room at Pinocchio’s recalled the incident.
She said: “When he came into the nursery that day he just didn’t seem himself. He then went over to a member of staff for a cuddle.
“She had him on her knee and he was very hot.
“She took his temperature, then I went down and the minute I saw him I phoned 999 as he was in and out of consciousness.
“They took him right off to the sick kids.
“They told us if we had left it any longer he could have been away.
“So it was quite scary. This is the first time any of us have come across that.
“I just thought ‘no, best to get him an ambulance’.
“The paramedic on the phone told me to keep talking to him to keep him awake.
“A rash appeared when the paramedic turned up. It was ten minutes we waited but it felt longer.”
Tracy revealed that while Joey still has to have check ups, her son is now back to full health, and back at the nursery he loves.
She said: “He is totally fine now. He got out at the end of January. He went back to nursery in the second week of February. He couldn’t wait.
“You would think nothing had happened to him.
“He has just bounced straight back.”