December 6 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Saturday, October 12, 2013
For nine nerve-shredding minutes, Glen and Stacie Hutley were helpless as their tiny son Bobby’s heart stopped beating.
The toddler was on the brink of death as medics fought frantically to save him from the horrifying effects of bacterial meningitis.
But the little battler’s tiny heart restarted – and today Mr and Mrs Hutley are hailing the remarkable recovery of their “miracle boy”.
Later this month, the grateful couple will stage a ball on the edge of Norwich to raise cash for the charity that helped Bobby to recover from the traumatic event.
In an emotional interview, Mr and Mrs Hutley, 25 and 24 respectively, who live in Thetford, recalled that the anxiety was “absolutely horrific” as they watched their beloved son fighting to survive.
The 18-month-old was taken ill in April after doctors initially diagnosed a chest infection and told his mother to keep an eye on him and provide him with plenty of fluids.
But his condition rapidly deteriorated and he developed a rash which did not disappear after being pressed by a glass tumbler, which is a recommended technique to check for meningitis.
The couple took him to the A&E unit at West Suffolk Hospital, where bacterial meningitis was confirmed and he was transferred to Addenbrookes Hospital at Cambridge.
Mr Hutley said: “At the A&E department we suspected meningitis and it just went from there. The feeling of anxiety was absolutely horrific, it was a horrendous time.”
The situation took a turn for the worse at Addenbrookes when Bobby’s condition deteriorated further and medics had to fight to restart his heart.
Mr Hutley said: “I thought ‘if they do bring him round, what is going to happen from there? What quality of life is he going to have?’ But it is a true miracle that he is walking again now and his awareness is fantastic. People look at him and they don’t suspect he has had meningitis because all he has been left with is minor scarring. We call him our miracle boy.”
His wife, a sales assistant, said that since Bobby had come out of hospital he had been doing “really well” and had been having numerous hospital and follow-up appointments.
She added: “It took him a while to come back to his former self. When he first came out of hospital he was like a newborn baby, he could not hold his head up, but now he is walking and talking and he is doing really well. He has had a few problems with his left eye, he has a bit of a lazy eye, but he has not had to go to hospital about it.”
She also described her shock when Bobby went down with meningitis, adding: “Bobby was a well, happy boy and I did not see anything like that coming and it affected the whole family.”
However, she said her extended family had been supportive throughout their ordeal, including visiting Bobby in hospital. She also praised Addenbrookes staff and Meningitis UK for their support, particularly by helping to put the family in touch with other families who had experienced meningitis.
“It was nice to know that the support was there as an option if we wanted to talk about it. It is very difficult to speak to somebody who has not been through the experience, so it is nice to be able to share your thoughts and feelings with somebody who has.”
Mr and Mrs Hutley are planning to hold a ball at Sprowston Manor Hotel on October 26 to raise money for Meningitis UK, which offered advice and one-to-one support.
The ball will feature a magician, three course meal, live auction and raffle, as well as a performance from the band Lick and a Promise and there will also be a photo booth where guests can take a memento of their night out.
For more information about the ball, visit www.bobbyleehutley.co.uk