Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spotting the Danger Signs Saved Our Little Girl's Life

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spotting the Danger Signs Saved Our Little Girl's Life

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Dickinson Reporter @KATIEJDICKINSON

ANORTHUMBERLAND mum has told how she lived through every parent's worst nightmare when her young daughter was left fighting for her life after being diagnosed with meningitis. Less than 24 hours after starting to complain of a sore neck, little Lilly Exley was hooked up to life support machines at Newcastle's Great North Children's Hospital (GNCH), fighting for survival.

After spending the night before with Lilly to keep an eye on her symptoms, mum Leanne Scott was horrified to wake up and find red marks spreading over her five-yearold daughter's body.

"I felt sick to my stomach. I knew instinctively it was meningitis," said Leanne, 33.

Lilly was rushed to hospital where she was diagnosed with meningitis B and septicaemia.

A year on from the ordeal, Leanne has issued a warning for parents to be aware of the symptoms of meningitis - and the importance of acting fast.

"I don't think people realise how quickly you can nearly lose your child," she said.

Lilly, of Ashington, began complaining of a sore neck and foot in the afternoon of March 19 last year.

But an hour later she was back to her usual self, trying on an Easter bonnet and asking to walk the family dogs.

Later that evening, however, Lilly began to feel unwell again and later began coughing and vomiting.

After giving Lilly some Calpol and water to try and keep her temperature down, Leanne decided to bring Lilly into her bed so that she could keep an eye on her overnight.

Lilly remained responsive and continued to speak to her mum throughout the night, but when Leanne woke the following morning she immediately noticed a faint mark on her daughter's shoulder.

Leanne said: "I just knew. I screamed for her dad and said: 'She's got meningitis'.

"We rushed her straight to hospital, we knew there was no time to wait for an ambulance. That's when our nightmare began."

Lilly was rushed to Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington where she was immediately administered with penicillin before being transferred to the GNCH in Newcastle. …

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