Little Izabelle Bailey was said to have chickenpox when she was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital on Thursday morning when she became limp, unresponsive and had a temperature of 40.6C.
Her mum Bethany Brunton says some spots appeared on her daughter’s body during her visit, so she was diagnosed with chickenpox and sent home with Calpol and ibuprofen.
On Friday, Izabelle was no better and the spots had vanished – so Bethany took her back to the hospital in Harton Lane, South Shields, – where the 17-year-old from Harton Nook, South Shields, says she begged doctors for seven hours to do a blood test.
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When the procedure – along with a lumbar puncture – was carried out, it revealed Izabelle had meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia, which can be deadly.
The youngster, who turns one tomorrow, is now in Sunderland Royal Hospital, where she’s being treated with antibiotics.
Bosses at South Tyneside Hospital say they are investigating the incident.
Bethany said: “I knew it wasn’t chickenpox. The spots didn’t stay long enough and she just seemed to be very unwell.
“They also mentioned that it might be gastroenteritis, but she didn’t seem to be in the kind of pain you’d expect from that. She had just basically slept for three days and was unresponsive with a very high temperature.
“She’s normally a cheeky little thing, always smiling and playful, so I knew something wasn’t right.”
She added: “On the Friday I kept asking for a blood test but they only seemed to take urine samples. Once the blood tests were done and came back, they realised it wasn’t chickenpox and she was transferred straight to Sunderland Royal.
“Even that wasn’t straightforward. There weren’t proper records of when she’s last had medicine or when the lumbar puncture took place.
“The Sunderland doctors tried to give her more paracetamol when we arrived at 10.30pm on the Friday but I had to stop them as she’d only had it an hour before. Her records said she had last received it at 11am.
“The whole thing has been terrible. We’ve been told that we’re very lucky she’s still alive.”
Izabelle is recovering well in hospital, off her drip and continues to take her antibiotics and Bethany hopes she might be home on Monday.
Tomorrow Bethany, along with her partner Nathan Bailey, 17, hope to have a little birthday party for their daughter in hospital.
Bethany said: “If all goes well, she’s due to be discharged on Monday.
“They have relaxed the rules on visiting now that she’s getting better, so we’re hoping tomorrow we can have some kind of little party for her as it’s her first one.
“I am just so relieved I took her back to the hospital for a second time. I can’t bear to think what might have happened if I just kept her at home thinking it was chickenpox.
“The doctors have said she’s doing amazingly well. Hopefully, she’ll be back to her normal little cheeky self soon.”
Bethany has complained about the treatment her daughter received at South Tyneside District Hospital and an investigation is now being carried out.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Medical Director Dr Shaz Wahid said: “We understand that this is a very distressing time for baby Izabelle and her family and we wish her a speedy recovery.
“Patient safety is our top priority and whenever issues are raised about a patient’s treatment we always investigate thoroughly.
“We can assure Miss Brunton that we are already looking into her concerns and that we will report back to her as soon as possible.”