Ophelia’s mum Kathryn writes,
“On 1st November 2021 we rushed our four week old Twin A – Ophelia into A&E. The twins were seven weeks early so they were still three weeks premature. This was the start of the most scared I’ve ever been. They told us if we had waited for the ambulance we would have lost her. (We were told two and a half hour wait for an ambulance) Late-onset group B Strep infection leading to sepsis and also being treated for meningitis.
She had had a full check and clean bill of health from the health visitor just three hours before we noticed something was seriously wrong. The symptoms could have been easily mistaken for colic. It was my partner’s instincts that said we needed to get her to hospital. She refused her bottle, had a high-pitched cry, and blotchy skin, and wasn’t happy being held in any position… that was all. No fits, no vomiting, no rash. If you have a baby, especially a premature one, and something isn’t quite right, just get them to hospital. Don’t ever feel like you’d be wasting their time.
Ophelia’s body had started shutting down, she was icy cold and they had to basically cook her on heat pads and wrap her in loads of blankets to get her temperature to raise enough. It wouldn’t even register on a thermometer it was that low. It took them 12 hours to get her temperature back to being able to be read. The hospital check for infection markers in the blood, and will treat anything over a score of 10 with antibiotics. Ophelia’s were 251. They wouldn’t tell us for five days for sure whether she would pull through or not. I’m only sharing this now to raise awareness of how quickly babies can become seriously poorly. It also meant that when our Twin B – Thalia got the same thing only a few weeks later, that she was rushed in and treated with antibiotics before her infection markers were raised at all. She was able to be treated much quicker but it was still a very scary time.
Don’t delay taking your little one to hospital. We could have easily got Ophelia settled with calpol and put her to bed. She would never have woken up. Thankfully now we have two healthy 15 month olds and the follow ups have been excellent – making sure there are no ongoing problems.”