Sunday 12th August 1990 Sunday morning 10.00
“There has been another child who has died of meningitis, Daphne. It was in Huddersfield this time.” My Dad looked up from the front page of his Sunday paper. Mum was still eating her toast.
“Oh, it is such a dreadful illness, Desmond. I have always been so frightened of the boys catching it.”
“Of course, they blamed the GP as usual. Apparently, he thought it was flu.” My Dad was clearly irritated.
“Meninigits is so difficult to diagnose, Desmond. One minute, the patient can seem perfectly well and, the next, they can be at death’s door.”
“I was lucky, wasn’t I, with little Robin Pritchard two years ago? He had a high temperature but he did not look too bad. There was certainly no rash. Fortunately, his mother ignored my reassurances and took him straight to the hospital. He was in intensive care a few hours later.”
“At least he made a full recovery, Desmond.”
“Yes, thank God for that! I would never have forgiven myself. Did I tell you that Dr Lewis had had a case a few weeks ago?”
“It was a 15 year old boy who was staying here on holiday. She made the diagnosis as soon as he walked through the door. Dennis gave him a penicillin injection whilst she phoned the hospital. By the time she’d finished on the ‘phone the ambulance had arrived.”
“She is so good, Desmond!”
“She did say that no one could have missed the diagnosis. He looked awful and his legs were covered in big purple blotches.”