An Angus mother is warning parents how quickly life-threatening diseases can take hold of children after her son contracted a severe strain of meningitis.
Three-year-old Charlie Young has been described as a “miracle” by health professionals after battling meningococcal septicaemia and returning back to full health.
Charlie celebrated his third birthday with a party on January 9 but was rushed into hospital the next day.
The toddler suffered multiple organ failure and his parents, Gwen Wakeling and Ryan Young, from Montrose, were told he would not survive.
When someone has meningococcal septicemia, the bacteria enter the bloodstream and multiply, damaging the walls of the blood vessels and causing bleeding into the skin and organs.
Meningococcal septicemia is serious and can be fatal, with deaths occurring in as little as a few hours.
Charlie was rushed to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, on January 10 and then transferred to Edinburgh Sick Children’s Hospital where he was placed on life support.
Gwen said: “The doctors and nurses said what a miracle he is because he was so sick.
“The care he received had to be perfect and it was. I can’t fault the doctors and nurses.
“One reason he did so well he is because he was such a fit and healthy boy. The doctors and nurses told us if he hadn’t been then he may not have survived.
“I never believed he was going to be alright until we left Edinburgh.”
Gwen said Charlie was “running around and eating party food” at his birthday party the day before he took ill.
She said: “I want to make people aware about meningitis and septicaemia, how quickly they can come on and be life-threatening.
“Fast action is vital.”
While Charlie was in hospital, his nursery, Little Beehive in Montrose, held a sponsored walk from the playgroup premises on Museum Street to the Curlie Pond and back again to support the family.
The youngsters and nursery staff raised £520, to be donated to the two hospitals that saved his life.
Gwen added: “They sent us pictures of the walk. When he woke up from his coma he was able to see the pictures of his friends at nursery.
“He’s back at nursery and he absolutely loves it.”