‘No such thing as an innocent kiss’ Mum alerts parents about meningitis risk to newborn babies

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  • Mum Krystal Hayes has issued a stark warning to all parents about the dangers of meningitis in newborn babies.

    Sharing a candid Facebook post which chronicled her family’s terrifying ordeal, she explained how at just nine days old Gunner suddenly and inexplicably fell ill.

    ‘He started to feel a little warm,’ Krystal began. ‘We did the usual – took off his blanket, left him in just his vest; it was a warm weekend.’

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    Finding that his temperature continued to spite, and his breathing becoming rapid, Krystal rang her midwife straight away and was told to get him to A&E and that they ‘needed a paediatric doctor.’

    ‘[There were] no rashes,’ she added. ‘Wet nappies. Eating fine. Not sensitive to light. No stiff neck that we could tell. His hands and fee were cold and his body was hot, but most newborns do have cold hands and feet.’

    Little Gunner was assessed quickly at the hospital, but doctors weren’t sure what was wrong. Things quickly took a scary turn when the tiny tot became seriously ill, and started convulsing.

    ‘Bloods were taken. Urine taken. X-ray taken. All clear, all fine. IV antibiotics were given immediately and paracetamol and ibuprofen to try and reduce his temperature.’

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    Once Gunner had been stabilised, doctors told Krystal and her partner John that they would need to perform a medical procedure called a lumbar puncture (which collects cerebrospinal fluid), the results of which showed viral meningitis.

    ‘How could this be possible, surly this healthy 7lb 8 boy born just 9 days earlier couldn’t have Meningitis!’ she questioned – but doctors explained to a confused Krystal that it was ‘likely that someone, or even one of the family could have been carrying a dormant virus, which could have been transferred to him with just an innocent kiss.

    ‘This virus would then have become active in his little body, infecting his meninges, the three membranes the envelope the brain and spinal cord.’

    Krystal explained that up until that moment she couldn’t imagine not being able to kiss her own child.

    However, now she’s sworn ‘never to kiss another newborn that doesn’t belong to me, and never will I kiss any of my new babies on or around their mouths again.’ and is sharing the warning with other new parents in the hopes that their children won’t face the same fate.

    She continued: ‘The worry and pain we felt that day was beyond words, keep them safe and DON’T kiss the baby!’

    The post has since had over 11,000 shares, and many have thanked Crystal for her warning, with one writing: ‘ Thank you for sharing your story. Thank God Gunner is finally ok bless him.’

    ‘Poor wee man – my daughter was 10 months old but the same thing happened,’ another empathised. ‘Totally relate to what has happened although my daughter was older. It was one of the most scariest, lowest and most disappearing time of my life. Stay strong.’