'Get help immediately' - Hartlepool dad's message to parents after his 8-year-old son's fight with meningitis

A brave little boy has become the second child in his family to be hit by meningitis.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 16:30 pm
Updated Monday, 12th August 2019, 17:14 pm
Harry O'Donovan who has faced up to a battle with meningitis.

As Harry O’Donovan, eight, was being taken to hospital, he got words of encouragement from little sister Lyla, six, who has fought her own string of major health issues.

She told her big brother: “Don’t worry Harry, it doesn’t hurt very much,” after Harry was told he had to go to hospital.

Today, their parents Paul, 34, and Kirsty O’Donovan, 33, from Hartlepool had a heartfelt message for all parents who suspect their child may be ill.

Lyla O’Donovan, 6, who is battling a brain tumour, and her father Paul O'Donovan.

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Posting on Facebook, Kirsty said: “I can’t stress enough about going with your gut instinct, you as a parent know best!”

Meningitis is ‘no joke and it presents itself in so many different ways’ said Kirtsy.

“Lyla’s temperature was sky high and she went into an irrational state, no rash or any of the common signs of it.

“Harry on the other hand was vomiting, stomach ache, headache, dizzy and then blood shot spots.”

Harry's rash alerted his family to get immediate help.

The family urged parents: “Take no chances, even if you feel silly and it turns out to be nothing serious, rather that than the guilt of ‘what if’ it’s just not worth it!”The family of eight was having a well-deserved break at Primrose Valley when Harry became unwell.

“In the morning, we went to carry him into the front room and saw a big rash on the side of his face, leading down to his neck. There was one on his eyelids just starting to come through.”

The family phoned 111 straight away and Harry was immediately given penicillin before he was taken to Scarborough Hospital by ambulance. He was then given three different kinds of antibiotics.

All the family have now headed back to Durham where Harry will need further hospital treatment, although he will be allowed to stay at home in Ushaw Moor.

How to spot the signs of meningitis.

The latest drama comes after Lyla’s own health battles. She was first diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of three and was given a 50/50 chance of survival.

She has undergone a number of operations and has also battled meningitis. She has seizures caused in part by old scar tissue.