ANDREA Norris was by her son Lachlan’s side when the doctor called a code blue and she knew he was dying.
Her son was not responding to anything and she feared the worst.
Lachlan Jackson, 9, woke up with a headache that wouldn’t go away about a month ago.
On Saturday, March 2 Ms Norris gave him Panadol and the next day some more Panadol and Nurofen after he woke up screaming in pain.
By Monday Lachlan could hardly walk and was carried to the car and taken to the doctor.
Initially it was thought the Merrivale Primary School pupil had meningitis and he was taken to Warrnambool Base Hospital.
He was sent home but later that night Ms Norris found her son in the lounge room. He was blue and not responding.
Ms Norris said an ambulance and MICA unit arrived and Lachlan was taken to the base hospital. Their paediatrician Christian Fiedler attended.
“He slept that night and then the next day,” she said.
“The next day he had another seizure.
“Christian, calm as day, says ‘I think we’ll code him now’, which is a code blue, that someone’s dying.
“So all these doctors just run, they just converged. About a dozen people were trying to get lines in him and putting needles everywhere.”
“They took him into intensive care and on life support,” she said.
Lachlan was then transferred to the Monash Hospital in Melbourne.
“At that stage I didn’t know if he was going to live or die, if he had brain damage or anything,” she said.
“I had no feeling. I was blank. My whole body, my mind, my feelings.”
Lachlan was later diagnosed with ADEM or acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, an extremely rare disease of the central nervous system.
It’s characterised by a brief but widespread attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord that damages myelin — the protective covering of nerve fibres.
Ms Norris said only four in every one million children were diagnosed with the disorder.
“When the body sends out the white blood cells to fight the virus, because it was in the brain, it couldn’t differentiate between the brain and the virus, so the brain was actually fighting the brain,” she said.
She said immunosuppressive therapy was started to shut down the immune system to ensure it would stop attacking the brain.
For the time being it’s unclear how long Lachlan will have the virus.
It’s expected he will remain on the anti-seizure drugs for a few more months and continue immunosuppressive therapy for six more weeks.
But for the time being Ms Norris is just happy to have her boy back at home.