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My thanks to hospital that saved my daughter’s life
THE parents of a six-year-old Poole girl who survived a potentially deadly illness have thanked the NHS for saving her life.
Eve Tucker, of Parkstone, became poorly on Friday February 1.
Within hours, she was being rushed to Southampton Hospital’s children’s intensive care unit suffering from meningococcal septicaemia.
Her mum Marina said: “I went to fetch her from Courthill School and one of her friends ran out to say she wasn’t very well.
“She was saying her knee was hurting and wouldn’t put her foot down. They thought she had gone into shock because she was shivering. I could tell immediately that she had a fever because her lips were blue.”
At home, Marina gave Eve paracetamol and ibuprofen before taking her to the GP.
“By the time I got her there, her temperature had come down a bit and she didn’t look quite so ill. Her knee was hurting, but there were no real outward signs that there was anything more sinister than a fever.”
Marina was advised to ring the out-of-hours GP service if she was concerned.
At 4am, she went into her daughter’s bedroom to give her medication and noticed a burn-like mark on one arm.
“I lifted up her top and could see all these big blotches around her hips and back. I ran downstairs and rang the out-of-hours doctor service.
“They immediately arranged an ambulance, which was here within minutes.”
Eve was given antibiotics and oxygen.
The illness releases toxins that break down the walls of the blood vessels and can lead to amputations, organ failure or death.
“There was an enormous team of people waiting for us at Poole Hospital. As we got out, they just descended on Eve and put lines in to try and get fluids into her,” said Marina.
“My husband Paul was following behind in the car.
“He said he expected to find her sitting up, so when he walked in it was like an out of body experience. I don’t think either of us had realised how serious it was.”
A team from Southampton’s paediatric intensive care unit came in an ambulance to collect Eve, and she remained there on life support until the Tuesday.
Once out of danger, she was transferred to Poole Hospital for another week.
She had an operation to drain fluid from her knee and 10 days of intravenous antibiotics as an outpatient. Eve has made a complete recovery, returning to school three weeks after being taken ill and resuming her beloved dancing.
“Everyone said the timing was absolutely key. It was caught in the nick of time,” said Marina.
“Every single doctor, nurse and member of hospital staff showed incredible concern and compassion. The speed and efficiency of the NHS quite simply saved her life.
“We will be eternally grateful to every single NHS employee we met along our journey: you are all heroes and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”