Mother saves daughter, 3, by checking meningitis symptoms on iPhone app after schoolmate dies from condition
Hollie was diagnosed with viral meningitis while on a family weekend awayHer mother Claire checked her symptoms on a charity iPhone appShe thanked parents of schoolmate who died from condition after they raised awareness of disease
14:48 GMT, 17 September 2012
A three-year-old girl was saved from the killer disease meningitis after her mother checked her symptoms on an iPhone app.
Hollie Weeks was saved by her quick-thinking mother Claire after she became seriously ill on holiday.
Mrs Weeks had downloaded the Meningitis Trust app after a classmate of her other daughter died after contracting the condition.
Claire, 36, and father Simon, 39, from Kingswood, Bristol, rushed her to North Devon District Hospital on April 29.
Hollie was diagnosed with viral meningitis and received treatment within 20 minutes of showing symptoms thanks to her mother's quick actions
Erica, 6, Claire and Hollie, 3: Claire was quick to take action when Hollie developed meningitis symptoms after a class mate of Erica's died from the condition
The youngster was diagnosed with viral meningitis and received treatment within 20 minutes.
However, she still suffered a stroke down her right side and lost her speech. She spent two days in the Barnstaple hospital, 12 days at Bristol Children’s Hospital, and 11 days at Frenchay Hospital.
But Hollie, nicknamed 'little miracle' by doctors, is now battling back to health thanks to her parents’ swift actions.
She has regained most of her mobility, although still has co-ordination problems with her right hand.
Hollie struggles to concentrate for long periods and tires easily, but the family are hoping that before the end of the year she will no longer need the steroids she is on.
Hollie suffered a stroke down her right side but is now recovering well
Claire, from Bristol, said: 'The doctors said she was an hour away from not pulling through. She’s made a remarkable recovery.
'Our brave girl suffered a stroke and lost her speech, but Hollie is a little fighter and is doing well learning to talk and with physiotherapy.
'She has some weakness down her right side, but this could have been so much worse. We feel lucky to still have her here and she has returned to play school.
'I cannot thank the hospital staff enough as they helped save her life.
'The team at Frenchay’s Barbara Russell Unit call her a ‘little miracle’ for how fast she is recovering and is still doing its best to make sure she gets back to health.
'Hollie knows what happened to her. She says “I had meningitis on holiday and the doctors saved me”.'
Mrs Weeks became conscious of the
risks of meningitis earlier this year after five-year-old Kelsey Smart –
a classmate of Hollie's older sister Erica – died from the condition.
She said: 'What happened to Kelsey and her family is heartbreaking.
'What Hannah and James are doing to remember her and spread awareness is so special. If it weren’t for their determination, I would not have suspected meningitis and rushed Hollie to hospital.
little girl could have died, but what we learned from Kelsey’s story
was enough to get us to rush our daughter to hospital, which saved her
'If my family can
spread awareness of meningitis through our and Kelsey’s stories, and
save even one life – it will be worth it.'
The early symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and muscle and joint pain. These can often look like other more common illnesses like flu. Symtpoms can worsen rapidly so it's important to keep checking them.
The Meningitis Trust says parents should trust their instincts. 'You know your child, a loved one, or your own body, better than anyone else. If you think it is meningitis, say so,' they advise.
To download the symptoms checker app visit www.meningitis-trust.org