A YOUNG family was left devastated when they learned that their 11-day-old son’s cold-like illness almost killed him.
Chloe Hodgkinson, 22, from Haydock, Merseyside, was visiting her GP for an appointment for an unrelated illness and decided to bring her 11-day-old baby Joshua along.
On leaving the GP surgery, dad Teejay peered over to look at their newborn – only to notice their baby boy had begun to turn blue.
“This was when our whole world began to fall apart,” the mum explained.
After receiving immediate CPR from the GP, the family noticed a visual rash on Joshua’s body.
The baby would later be rushed to Whiston Hospital where he was eventually diagnosed with sepsis.
“I remember just sitting there with my head in my hands, distressed, thinking that my son was going to die right in front of me,” Chloe said.
His parents had assumed he’d caught it off their one-year-old daughter, Alexis.
“We thought it was nothing more than a slight bug and being around her snuffly nose and cough,” she said.
Joshua eventually came around not long before the ambulance arrived and the toddler was taken to hospital.
Chloe says doctors wanted to discharge Joshua after a short stay and said the blue skin had been a result of choking on breastmilk.
But watchful dad Teejay noticed a rash on Joshua’s body and the parents asked that their child be looked over again.
When they did, medical staff noticed their baby had stopped breathing once again.
The family were taken to a high alert room where Joshua was placed on assisted breathing equipment.
Chloe said: “There were so many cannulas coming out of his tiny body.
“As he was a newborn, you can only begin to imagine how distressing this was for us as parents.
“He had a brain scan, X-rays, heart scans and a lumbar puncture which we were not allowed to attend due to it not being a nice sight.”
What are sepsis symptoms in kids and babies?
Sepsis can damage the kidneys, lungs, brain, and heart, and can even cause death. By knowing the signs of sepsis, parents can get their children medical attention early, which can help with prognosis
Rapid breathing/shortness of breath
– Cold, mottled, pale skin
– Very high or low temperature
– Bluish skin or lips
– Poor feeding
– Vomiting or diarrhea
– Lethargy/difficulty waking
– Little or no urine output
– Has non-fading rash
“Above all, parents should trust their instincts. If you have any concerns whatsoever that your child may have sepsis, please seek urgent medical attention,” charity Sepsis Research FEAT said.
She added: “It was a really scary time and I didn’t even have the time to think about what was going on with me.
“All I cared about was my baby boy.”
After a week of antibiotics and round-the-clock care, Joshua’s condition began to improve.
He was later discharged and hasn’t experienced any further health scares since.
Chloe said: “It’s scary to think that if we were not at the doctor’s surgery at that point in time, we could have lost our son.
“I’m so thankful I have my cheeky little boy with the world ahead of him in my life.”
The harrowing incident has left Chloe determined to warn other parents so that they can spot the signs of sepsis before it’s too late.
She added: “Newborns are generally sleepy and unable to communicate, it’s so difficult to identify the signs.
“The symptoms of sepsis in babies are rarely ever talked about.
She added: “As young parents we didn’t know about sepsis or the signs to look out for, Teejay and I were just 18 and 21 at the time.
“With Joshua, his signs of sepsis came from cold and flu symptoms,” she explained.
“He didn’t have a high temperature and he wasn’t displaying any abnormal symptoms as newborns are rather lazy anyway.
“I would just tell other parents please, go with your gut.
“Babies are so unpredictable and it can quickly turn into a situation of life and death.”