On October 11, 2002 my 5 year old son Matthew fell ill. He had no fever,just a tummy ache and a sore wrist. I thought it was nothing, but that wasn´t the case. At 8:30 that evening he vomited once and still complained about his sore wrist. He periodically awoke that evening regarding his sore wrist. He had no other signs or symptoms. No fever, no stiff neck nothing else.
At 7:30am the next morning, he awoke with the same sore wrist complaint. By this point I became concerned about his wrist and thought he may have hurt it while playing outside the previous day. I then decided to take him to my local walk in clinic. I thought that he might have sprained it . While at the clinic I noticed two small white spots on his face, I thought he was getting the chicken pox. The doctor examined Matthew and told us he was fine, that it probably was a sprained wrist we should apply ice to it and go home. Matthew was crying in pain from his wrist at this point. I now started to think that his wrist was more than sprained, maybe it was broken.
I left the clinic and called my friend Erica, she´s a paramedic in Toronto. I was telling her about Matthew and she told me to check his legs for a rash. When I asked her why, she told me that meningitis was going around. "Meningitis? " I said. What is that, and why do you think he has that? She said just do it. I then pulled my car over and checked Matthew´s legs. He did have a rash. She then advised me to go to the nearest hospital. I then proceeded to go to Pee Memorial Hospital in Brampton. It was a 10 minute drive from where I was. Matthew and I walked into the hospital side by side and then he fell to the floor in, he went into shock. The triage nurse ran put from behind her deck, swooped him up and took him into the emergency area. He was not breathing. The great doctor´s of Peel hospital rushed over to help. The emergency room was packed with doctors and equipment to save my son. They soon realized that Matthew was a victim of meningitis and requested a spinal tap. I was never so afraid in all my life.From one minute I thought my son had a sprained wrist to the next when doctors are trying to incubate him and save his life. he doctor told me that Matthew needed to be transferred to Sick Children´s Hospital in Toronto, of course I agreed. Matthew´s life was not going to exceed past the next 24 hours was the next words I was told.
Well guess what, Matthew was able to fight for his life and after 12 surgeries and 2 years in and out of the hospital he survived!!
Matthew´s wonderful doctors at Sick Kids Dr. Christopher Forrest (head of the burn unit) and Dr Pope (head of dermatology) have worked together to help repair Matthew´s health. Dr Forrest has done many skin grafts to Matthew due to the lesions on his legs, neck, arms and head as a result from the rash. His skin is so badly damaged that he wears burn garments, and two years later still requires surgery. Matthew has reactive arthritis, deep scaring and 10% hearing loss in both ears, but he is still here!!
Matthew is now a happy 8 year old and knows he is a miracle from God!!