It seemed like Michelle Murrell’s 1-year-old was going through what all little ones go through at that age: teething.
When she picked him up from daycare on July 28, it had likely been a long day for both mom and her son, Blake, according to the Daily Mail.
After five miscarriages prior to little Blake, as well as several failed IVF attempts, a little fussiness from teething may have seemed like a small thing in connection to the baby whom she referred to as her “miracle boy.”
“I first noticed Blake was sick when he started having a fever, but we were not worried as he had been bringing home bugs from daycare constantly,” Murrell said.
In addition to the possibility of a bug just going around at daycare, he was also having three or four teeth coming in at the same time, which she believed could also easily be the cause of a fever if it wasn’t a minor illness from daycare.
“So we were keeping on top of that and he had some vomiting and fevers and that sort of thing, but we weren’t overly concerned,” she said.
Blake even seemed like he was starting to feel better shortly after that. Then about 10 days later, he seemed to be struggling again.
“I’m a nurse so I just kept him hydrated and managed the fever until one night I noticed he was holding his head funny and that caught my attention.”
That was when she decided to take Blake to the hospital.
“They then took him to do blood work, and after they got the results, they could see that he had quite a bad infection.
“They covered him with four different antibiotics, and I suppose meningitis was in the back of their mind, but they never really gave a clear diagnosis of it at the time,” Murrell said.
The following day, Blake was taken to Sydney Children’s Hospital. He was immediately put in the ICU department.
His brain was swollen and so they induced a coma in the hopes that keeping him quiet would bring down the swelling and give him a chance to heal.
Unfortunately, he was too far along in the illness, and Blake passed away of meningitis on Aug. 16.
The family was devastated by the sudden passing of Blake, especially Blake’s older brother, who is only 7 years old. Nights are more difficult for him than days since school is something of a distraction for him during the day.
“For the last few weeks he has been coming in at night, and he cuddles his brother’s toys, some of Blake’s cuddly toys.”
The family decided to keep Blake’s ashes, which Murrell said has been a comfort for them.
“His ashes are just in our bedroom in a little heart box, it’s like a memory box, a nice box with his stuff.”
The family has received some support through a GoFundMe page, but is still in need of some assistance.
Meningitis is most common in a child of Blake’s age. Some of the symptoms include a sudden high fever, poor appetite, vomiting, lack of energy, irritablity, bulging soft spot on their head, neck stiffness and sensitivity to bright light, according to HealthLine.
The death of a child is one of the most painful experiences any parent will ever face, no matter what the age of that child is. If you have lost a child, or any loved one, and would like to have the support of others who can identify with you and come alongside you in your time of pain, please visit GriefShare.org.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.