This is what happened to my son Rowan. I’m Mariana his mum, dad James, brother Oliver and sister Eleanor. I was 5 months pregnant with Eleanor at the time. In March 2015 whilst play fighting with his brother, Rowan was pushed backwards fell through the fireguard and burnt his bottom. My husband pulled him away as quickly as he could off it, and we dealt with the burn. Straight afterwards we rang 111 and we were told to go to A&E. We did so.
In A&E we waited a few hours, maybe 3, to be seen, Rowan was still in nappies being 2 at the time. When we were seen to, the burn was looked at by nurses and plastic surgeons, who assured us everything was fine. It was quickly cleaned and we were sent home with dressings to change when needed.
We had follow-up appointment with a burns nurse who came to our house to assess the burn, and said if Rowan became poorly in any way to take him straight to A&E, as it could become infected.
The burn happened on the weekend. The week went by and Friday morning I was in my bedroom. I sat on the bed putting socks on and Rowan just came in and put his head on my lap. I felt him. He was very hot. I put him into bed and gave him calpol, hoping it would help bring the temperature down. I kept a close eye on him, but he quickly deteriorated. I rang my husband who came home from work and said if I was worried to take him back to hospital. I carried on looking after him. Not long after my husband left, Rowan started vomiting. I panicked and drove him to A&E. He got seen not straight away.
The first nurse who saw him and knew of the burn asked me what antibiotics he was on (at the time I had no idea he was supposed to have been given antibiotics to prevent infection). I looked confused and said he was taking calpol. She looked at me blankly and carried on writing. I was sent to another room, where another nurse proceeded to tell me off because Rowan didn’t have dressings on. I replied the wound was weeping so much today I could not keep anything on, but again she gave me more dressings. Plastics came to have a look at it and they said the wound was fine. I was told it was a virus and to go home.
That weekend Rowan carried on poorly, the temperature didn’t budge, his skin went blotchy and red, but we thought it was a viral thing so we tried not to panic.
Saturday night we put Rowan to bed, I was due to go to work Sunday. I woke up early and went to check on him. He was still feverish, non responsive. His lips were going blue. His skin rash had turned purple. I left him in bed with my husband and went to work, and said to ring an ambulance if he became worse.
It was around 12pm when my husband called and said he was on his way to hospital in an ambulance with Rowan. He told me to go home and pack a bag. I rushed home, did that and drove to hospital. As I got there, Rowan was in the Children’s High Dependency Unit. After speaking to my husband, I learnt that, when the paramedics arrived, they were reluctant to take him in saying it was probably teething, but my husband argued back. They plugged him in in the ambulance. His heart rate was very high and his blood pressure very low. That’s when they got worried and turned the blue lights and he was rushed to A&E. He was in resuscitation for a while, given emergency antibiotics. It was then confirmed he had blood poisoning or sepsis. The paediatrician was very cross this was not spotted before (it hurts me to think that if we had put him to bed that night he might’ve not survived).
We were in hospital for 6 days. Rowan was given a lot of different antibiotics through various lines, as they didn’t know what it was and couldn’t wait for blod test results. He developed a terrible allergy to one of them but it was too dangerous to stop so they carried on. His whole little body swollen like a balloon to the extent he couldn’t eat, and his skin cracked. I stayed in hospital with Rowan whilst my husband went home to look after Oliver and came to see us every day. We prayed and our church prayed, and his recovery came quickly, I remember seeing him smile after days of tears. All he did for 4 days was sleep.
It broke my heart to hear of poor baby William. And my heart goes out to his family. These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored.
I was ignored when Rowan wasn’t well in A&E, and Rowan wasn’t given the antibiotics he needed to prevent this in the first place.
Source: by Mariana Brand (Rowan's mother)