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Cornish Mums tells of Tot's Battle with Meningitis

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6:01am 21st November 2012

A Camelford mum has told Pirate FM watching her baby son battle meningitis was "a living nightmare".

Little Riley Dingle had to have the tips of his fingers, toes and part of his foot amputated after contracting meningococcal meningitis and speticaemia in 2008.

His mother Bev Pooley said she felt helpless: "There's nothing that you can do, even picking him up to cuddle him was hurting him, so all your natural instincts of being a parent are taken away from you because it's obviously the medical professionals that are the best people for his care then.

"The whole time that he was going through it I think we were just living in a bubble of always thinking positively, although doctors were telling us that, you know obviously, the worst could be that we lose our son. It's a living nightmare."

Meningitis charities have warned Cornish parents not to confuse the symptoms of meningitis with a cold or the flu.

Although the disease occurs throghout the year, cases tend to rise during the winter.

Jo Campbell, from the Meningitis Trust, said: "Meningitis can kill in four hours, so if you are concerned you do need to get medical help straight away, so it's really important that people do know those signs and symptoms, because those symptoms can be so similar to flu and to a cold."

Signs of Meningitis in Babies and Toddlers

  • Fever, cold hands and feet.
  • Refusing food and vomiting.
  • Pale, blotchy skin or spots and a rash - use the glass test.
  • Your child being floppy, drowsy or not responding.
  • A stiff neck and a dislike of bright lights.

You can do the glass test by pressing the side of a clear glass firmly against the skin. A rash that does not fade under pressure is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia. It is normally referred to as the meningitis rash.
If someone is ill and getting worse do not wait for a rash, it can appear late or not at all. A fever with spots or a rash that does not fade under pressure is a medical emergency.

6:01am 21st November 2012

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