My son Patrick would have been 19 - July 4th, 2007. He died of meningococcemia on Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 2:20 am.. He woke up Tuesday morning around 9:30 a.m. being his usual self. Like most teens, he didn't say much, was grumpy. I told him I had to go out by 10:00 and if I could move his car. He said he was going out as well and to wait. Then a few minutes later, he moves his car and informs me he's not going out. He goes upstairs as he usually did to either be on the computer or record music in his room.
Upon my return, I find him asleep. It was also normal for him to go back to sleep. He had night school on Mondays and would return late. A friend came by I believe around noon. Patrick made something to eat. His friend stayed awhile and after he left Patrick got into bed again. Around 3:00 p.m., I went to check on him. He told me he had a sore throat and had taken some Benylin and he had a fever. I check his temperature - it's 103F. I told him we should go to the doctors' or hospital. He said no. I asked the usual questions. What do you feel? Where does it hurt? He said his head hurt. To myself, I thought meningitis. First thought that always came to mind when the kids' head would hurt. I gave him Tylenol. He then vomited. Got back into bed. At 5:30 p.m., while I was making dinner, the exhaust fan going, I hear banging on the ceiling. I run upstairs. Patrick is sitting up. He's having a hard time breathing. It hurts when he inhales. That was it. I called the doctor. Upon being examined. He was dehydrated. Heartbeat was rapid. My husband & I drove him to the hospital. I had to wait 2 people in the line.
Then about 15 - 20 minutes before he was called to be admitted. He was getting worst as we sat there. Finally, in the emergency room. Only one person could stay with him. I'm always the one who stays with the kids' and this time I told my husband to stay. (At this point, I haven't mentioned meningitis to anyone. It just slipped my mind). The next several hours are a mess in my mind. He was x-rayed. Hooked-up to IV and oxygen. Given morphine. Blood work after blood work. No one had an answer. They knew it was either viral or a bacterial infection and was put on antibiotics. At some point he wanted to urinate. He couldn't. He felt it was because he was hooked-up and not in a private place. They inserted a catheter and that he wasn't too happy with. They realized he wasn't urinating enough with all the liquids he had been given. He was cold and they didn't have any blankets. At one point, he moved his neck and said he was tired of being in bed, he couldn't move. Anything ached. The morphine was wearing off. It was the only medication that relieved the pain. It had to be approved by someone. They had to contact this doctor. Apparently over night, only one or two doctors on staff. Others need to be called in. The emergency rooms were full. Patrick was lucky to have gotten a bed. People in the hall ways. Someone came in with a gunshot wound. At least 6 or more ambulances outside. It was a crazy night. We were still there by breakfast so I took a break.
No change at lunch so Patrick kicked my husband & I out. It wasn't til late afternoon that we were told he had fluid around his heart. Great it's resolved. They would remove it. He was taken to Cardio. Unfortunately, they discovered there was very little fluid around the heart and if removed could risk punctured the heart. So they didn't do anything. An infectious disease specialist saw him - more blood work. They had inserted some contraption in his arm to withdraw blood as required. He had a colonoscopy done a week prior so they looked into the possibility of a puncture there. That wasn't it either. The doctor we started dealing with was very concerned and worried he may not make it. In Cardio, we weren't going to be able to stay with him but in another room. We asked Patrick if it was OK if we went home to get some things. He said OK. We were back within the hour. It's now 8:00p.m. Wednesday. Some of my family is there, two female friends and we brought my older son with us. They had placed another tube in Patrick.
This was the last time he spoke to us. I don't remember time here but it was now clear it was meningitis in the bloodstream. (I was furious with myself because I had not said anything. But then the doctors should know better. Why didn't they see this earlier.) It was a matter of hours whether he survived. He died Thursday morning