Cameron's Story: Parent's Letter Project
Bacterial meningitis- Cameron’s mom
My 13-year-old son, Cameron, started displaying flu-like symptoms on a Thursday. I was unable to get an appointment with his pediatrician so I took him to the closest urgent care center in our area. He was complaining of a headache with nasal congestion. I told the doctor on duty that I thought it was a sinus infection since he had one two years ago. She gave him a prescription for antibiotics. The next day, I received a call from the school nurse that he had a fever and was still complaining of a headache. I picked him up and went straight to his pediatrician. He told me that Cameron just had a virus and to discontinue the antibiotics. By Monday evening he was complaining of neck and back pain. His fever was still going up and down. I knew something was wrong when he appeared to be lethargic. I rushed him to the local hospital. It was there that the doctor on duty suspected meningitis. As soon as he performed the lumbar puncture he could see that it was cloudy. After that everything moved at rapid speed.
He was transported by ambulance to Children's National. After two hours, I was informed that he would be moved to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) because he was not responding to the antibiotics. After 24 hours he started to respond and was moved to a regular room. The doctors and nurses at Children's National were wonderful. They answered all my questions and dealt with my crying fits. A couple days later an MRI showed that Cameron had a sinus infection. He was then diagnosed with strep pneumonia meningitis. Sinus surgery was scheduled the next day.
I was amazed at all the team of doctors that were taking care of him. After surgery he started showing improvement. Two weeks later he was moved to a rehabilitation center. Once there, Cameron was given more intensive physical therapy and his antibiotics were reduced from three to one. He started showing more improvement and it was decided that he would be able to go home with a PICC line to continue his antibiotics. Cameron's total hospital/rehab stay was 22 days. Less than two weeks after that Cameron's PICC line was removed and he was able to return to school, walking slowly but very determined. He continued with oral antibiotics for seven days.
I am now writing this letter three weeks since he has gone back to school. People are amazed that he doesn't even look like he was ever sick. This past weekend, I watched him run around with his friends. I hate to think of the outcome if he had not been transported Children's National. I will always be grateful.
I hope this letter gives hope to other parents that may be in this same situation. Early diagnosis is the key.
Cameron's mom, Patricia