A GIRL lost both her legs to meningitis after doctors sent her home from A&E with what they thought was a tummy bug.
Brave Brogan Partridge was seven-years-old when she was holidaying in Cornwell for her parents' honeymoon and was struck by the deadly infection.
Brogan, now 11, began vomiting after a day at the beach but parents Aimee, 28, and Craig, 32, thought she had an infection and told her to rest.
Her concerned parents took her to hospital but medics initially thought it was nothing more than a tummy bug and sent her home.
Soon after, Aimee started to notice "bruises" appearing on Brogan's legs and she was rushed back to A&E.
Mum-of-four Aimee, from Birmingham, said: "We'd just came back from a family break when she contracted Meningitis B, Brogan was only seven at the time.
"She did not seem herself. She’d had a sleepless night and was vomiting. We took her to A&E but they sent us home, saying she only had a tummy bug.
"I didn't know the symptoms of meningitis at the time. But within about three hours of leaving A&E, she was rushed back in after she started getting a rash.
"When we got back in the doctors then confirmed our worst fears.
"We’re so lucky that she was saved but we were devastated when Brogan had to have her left foot amputated due to the septicaemia.
"The damage was done within just a few hours, but only time will tell how much the disease will affect her life.
"We were later told told she will need to have her right foot amputated too.
"When we first found out she was going to lose her legs, we thought there was absolutely no way that could happen. I didn't want my little girl to lose her legs but it was the only option."
Aimee praised her daughter for rebuilding her life and becoming independent.
A DEADLY CONDITION EASILY MISTAKEN FOR A HANGOVER
It can easily be mistaken for flu or a hangover in adults, but knowing the signs of meningitis can prove life-saving.
The deadly disease can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young kids and young adults.
Meningitis causes an inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord and can be triggered by bacteria or a virus.
If it is not treated quickly meningitis can develop in deadly septicaemia, or blood poisoning, that can cause permanent damage to the brain or nerves.
Around 3,200 people a year are diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and one in 10 die or are left with life-changing disabilities.
Viral forms of meningitis are less common and rarely life-threatening.
What are the key symptoms?
The symptoms of meningitis can develop very quickly, and include:
- a high fever – over 37.5 degrees (the average temperature)
- being sick
- a headache
- a blotchy rash that won’t fade when a glass is rolled over it
- stiffness, especially in the neck
- drowsiness, irritability or a lack of energy
- cold hands and feet
In babies the symptoms can be slightly different, they may:
- refuse to eat
- be agitated and not want to be picked up
- having a bulging soft spot on their head
- be floppy and inresponsive
- have an unusual, high-pitched cry
- have a stiff body
Source: Meningitis Research Foundation
Brogan lost her foot then both legs to the disease, which took hold in June 2016, after years of pain caused by the infection.
Aimee said the bruises looked "nothing like" the tell-tale rash people are told to look out for and urged parents to be more aware of the symptoms of the potentially deadly condition.
She said: "She was completely oblivious to it all because she was so heavily medicated at the time.
"Her education suffered because of it. But now she's 11, she's adjusted to everything really well.
"She's always had a good mindset and is determined to get her full independence back."
The first sign something was wrong came when Brogan appeared to have an eye infection and was given antibiotics.
But 12 days later the bruises began to appear on the then seven-year-old's legs.
After seeing a GP, Brogan was rushed to Birmingham Children's Hospital where doctors were forced to amputate her left foot to save her life.
Brogan was fitted with a prosthetic foot and her parents thought the worst was behind them.
But they had to make the heart-breaking decision to amputate Brogan’s legs because she lived in constant pain.
Dad Craig, a mechanic, previously said: “At first it was a big shock for all of us but at the moment we are at the point where we just want to get it over and done with really.
“The younger children are only three and four and this is all they can remember – they’ve grown up with Brogan having meningitis.
“But they don’t bat and eye lid they just see Brogan as their big sister."
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