Hockey-mad three-year-old fighting blood infection receives special message from Sheffield Steelers

William Fewkes, with Sheffield Steelers player Ben O'Connor, after William was rushed to hospital with meningococcal septicaemia and the Sheffield Steelers sent a get well card to him.
William Fewkes, with Sheffield Steelers player Ben O'Connor, after William was rushed to hospital with meningococcal septicaemia and the Sheffield Steelers sent a get well card to him.
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A three-year-old from Sheffield, who is currently fighting a blood infection which could have been fatal, has received a special get well soon message from his favourite hockey team. 

William Fewkes, of Mosborough Road, Woodthorpe, was rushed straight to A&E at Sheffield Children’s Hospital on Thursday, after his worried mum took him to see a doctor as he was constantly being sick. 

William Fewkes and mum Alice, with Sheffield Steelers player Ben O'Connor.

William Fewkes and mum Alice, with Sheffield Steelers player Ben O'Connor.

The three-year-old hockey fan  was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia, a mixture of meningitis and septicaemia, and put in a medically induced coma, as he couldn't breathe and doctors were not sure if was going to pull through. 

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William’s mum Alice Fewkes, 22, said: “He struggled with his oxygen levels and eating. Whilst he was in intensive care he kept his favourite Steelers bear beside him He is still struggling to eat but he is picking up now.”

William, who has been to every Sheffield Steelers game since he was born, was in the coma for two days to avoid the risk of organ failure, before later being woken up from sedation where he began to breathe by himself. 

William Fewkes is a massive Steelers fan.

William Fewkes is a massive Steelers fan.

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Alice added: “He woke up from sedation and actually started to pull his own breathing tube out so they decided to keep him awake.”

Whilst ill in hospital, William’s aunt Rosie posted his story on social media, asking players from his favourite team to wish him a speedy recovery. 

Amazingly, it was seen by the Steelers team, who organised a get well soon card, which was signed by the current players, and sent directly to William in hospital. 

It also included a special message from defenceman Ben O’Connor, inviting William and his family to visit the players in their dressing after a game.

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Alice said: “I didn’t contact anyone, but my sister Rosie posted it on Twitter. We were shocked when we found out. William was really excited when he got the card, he had a proper big smile on his face.”

The St Theresa's Catholic Primary pupil is now out of hospital, but has to visit daily for IV antibiotics to clear the blood infection.

Ben O’Connor has since been to visit the three-year-old at home, to extend the invitation in person.

He said: “All the guys were shocked to hear William was in a coma. When you have kids of your own it always affects you more.

“We know he is a huge Steelers fan and he has an open invitation to come down to the dressing room after a game and meet all the boys and get some photos.”