Rotherham toddler’s fight against meningitis

Coby Knighton
Coby Knighton
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The plight of a toddler from Rotherham who almost died from meningitis is being used to raise awareness of the condition.

Coby Knighton, from Brampton Bierlow, spent six days in an induced coma in March.

Coby Knighton

Coby Knighton

The youngster, now 17 months old, was diagnosed with a viral infection when he was taken to see a GP after developing a rash and temperature.

His mum Michaela Claydon, aged 20, was told to take him back to the surgery in a few days but after later realising that the rash was spreading she dialled 999 and her son was rushed to Barnsley Hospital, where he was diagnosed with meningitis and blood poisoning.

Michaela said: “After a couple of hours we were told the devastating news that he had meningitis and septicaemia.

“We remained there until he was stable enough to be transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

“Coby was put in a coma and we were told he had a 50 per cent survival chance.”

Her son, who suffered some brain damage, spent three weeks in hospital.

“We don’t know how the brain damage will affect him in the future and won’t know more until he starts school,” said Michaela.

“We wish to raise awareness so no-one sees a loved one die or suffer life-changing after-effects to this horrendous disease.”

Michaela joined Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman at an awareness-raising event at Morrisons supermarket, Cortonwood Retail Park, Brampton Bierlow.

They handed out information about the symptoms to look out for.

Mr Dayman, whose two-year-old son, Spencer, died from meningitis in 1982, added: “Coby’s experience shows how fast meningitis can strike, often with few and late symptoms.

“We want to eradicate meningitis, but until vaccines exist for all types awareness and knowing the signs are crucial.”