The parents of a baby struck by meningitis have been told she will lose all of her limbs, her sight and hearing and suffer 90 percent brain damage in the worst case doctors have seen in 25 years.
Ten-month-old Kia Gott has already had her right arm removed and is due to have one of her legs amputated on Monday.
She was rushed to hospital four weeks ago after dad Paul, 35, went to check on her in the middle of the night, sensing something was wrong.
He put a light on and saw her face, neck and chest was covered in a terrible rash – a known symptom of meningococcal septicemia.
Paramedics arrived fast but Kia’s veins had collapsed so they had to drill into her tiny shin to give her emergency drugs.
While that was happening the baby girl had a mini cardiac arrest and was rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary, West Yorks.
Crushed parents-of-three Paul and Vikki, 30, were then told the devastating news that all four limbs would have to be removed.
An MRI scan also showed signs she would be deaf, blind and have 90 percent brain damage.
Despite doctors’ shocking prognosis, Kia’s parents are clinging on to hope she can still hear and see them and her older brother Kayden, eight, and sister Elsie, who is four.
She is now off a ventilator and although still sedated she is breathing for herself.
“Paul and Vikki are traumatized,” Donna Gott, Paul’s aunt, said. “They know she is in a bad way but they can’t grasp she can’t hear or see them. They believe she is responding to them and their voices and when Elsie sings her nursery rhymes.
“She is yawning, moving her head and her arm – the hospital has said it’s the worst case of Meningitis C septicaemia they have seen there in 25 years,” she said. “Because she is on so many drugs at the moment it’s hard to do the tests they need to find out for sure but they will keep monitoring her.
“An eye specialist has given some hope her eyes might still be healthy,” Gott said. “Vikki has not left the hospital – she is feeling an immense sense of guilt and is scared if she leaves the hospital something bad will happen.
“It’s heartbreaking – Paul is a self-employed window-fitter and is still having to work two days a week because bills still need paying,” she said. “Kayden and Elsie are staying over at the hospital house with their mom at weekends. They are struggling too.”
Two days before Kia fell ill she had been at her older siblings’ school in Wyke, near Bradford, West Yorks., where the family live for a family photo.
Later that week Kia’s mom took her to the doctor, worried that she “was not herself.”
Hospital consultants have since told the family that the doctor would not have been able to detect meningitis at that time.
When Paul came home from work that night, Kia did not get excited to see him – which was unusual.
The worried parents stayed up with her until midnight then went to bed.
However, Paul awoke with a start at 2 a.m. and, driven by instinct, went to check on the baby, finding her covered in the rash.
“They have a long hard road ahead of them,” Gott said. “But there is hope. She will lose all four limbs but but she is responding when we talk by moving her head and her arms. She is even crying and yawning. We will have to see how she develops over the next two years.”
“Her hearing and sight is affected but that doesn’t mean she will never hear or see again,” she said. “Paul and Vikki have accepted that it’s life-changing but as long as she can hear and see they will get by.”
The NHS stopped giving the MenC vaccine to 12-week-old babies in July last year because the success of the vaccination program meant there were almost no cases of the disease in babies or young children in the UK.
Meningitis C septicaemia is caused by bacteria that lives in the back of throats of one in ten people, normally doing no harm.
However, if if it somehow gets into the blood system it can trigger a potentially life-threatening infection.
Gott said Kia will now face a long few months of rehabilitation and the family home will need adaptions to make it suitable for the baby when she is finally discharged from hospital.
To help pay for them the family has set up a fundraising page which had raised more than $13,000.
To make a donation visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/emma-simpson-2.