Boy’s brush with death sets St Luke’s Estate mum off on charity trek for Meningitis Now

Charleine Mansfield with son Billy ahead of the sponsored walk (Picture: Ken Mears)

Charleine Mansfield with son Billy ahead of the sponsored walk (Picture: Ken Mears) - Credit: Archant

“If we had left it another half hour, it would have been a different story.”

Charleine and Billy set off for their sponsored walk (Picture: Derek Clark)

Charleine and Billy set off for their sponsored walk (Picture: Derek Clark) - Credit: Archant

One night 18 months ago, little Billy Mansfield was crying. He was only six days old, so mum Charleine thought little of it.

Then she realised something was seriously wrong. Later at hospital, it turned out Billy had been struck by viral meningitis.

Thankfully, Billy is now well on his way to recovery.

But Charleine, of Bath Court in the St Luke’s Estate, still shudders at that near-fatal evening.

Charleine Mansfield with son Billy ahead of the sponsored walk (Picture: Ken Mears)

Charleine Mansfield with son Billy ahead of the sponsored walk (Picture: Ken Mears) - Credit: Archant


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It is why she gathered 20 friends and relatives on Sunday – including Billy – for an eight-mile round walk to raise awareness and money of the Meningitis Now charity.

The trek started from her home near Old Street to Whittington Hospital, and back south again to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Billy received treatment at both hospitals.

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Charleine, 31, recalled: “We were sitting indoors and he was really miserable. Then we realised he had a temperature. And was crying his eyes out. As a parent, you just know something is wrong and I had to take him to hospital.

“He was completely grey – his veins were starting to close down. He was almost lifeless: very, very ill. His temperature wouldn’t shift. He’s still recovering now, but if we had left it another half hour, it would have been a completely different story.

“It left a lot of after-effects. He suffers short-term memory loss and rubs his head a lot, which they say is a result of the severe migraines he experienced. It took him longer than most children to speak and walk, but he’s getting there.

“I was inspired to do this walk because it was so scary. I don’t want any parent to go through what I went through. I want them to know the symptoms. That’s why I was raising awareness about the charity and handing out leaflets.”

To view Charleine’s fundraising page, click here.

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