A baby boy who defeated life-threatening meningitis not once but twice has been hailed ‘a miracle’.
Amar and Nazmeen Ali, of Hyndburn Street, Accrington, almost lost their son Sufyan to meningitis on two separate occasions.
Sufyan, now 15 months old, was just two months old when he was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis - an inflammation of the layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord, caused by bacteria.
He was gravely ill but, after the relief of him finally recovering, Amar and Nazmeen, 23, were plunged back into despair when he contracted meningococcal six months later.
The first time he fell ill Sufyan’s parents thought he just had a temperature but they realised something was badly wrong when he went limp.
He was rushed to Blackburn Hospital, where he was diagnosed, and then transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital where he stayed for two weeks, with a line feeding medication straight into his blood.
The couple stayed at his side until he finally recovered and was allowed home, but their nightmare would begin again when he was around eight months old.
Amar, 25, said: “He didn’t want to be picked up or touched, then one day he couldn’t put his leg down.”
Back at Blackburn Hospital, Sufyan was diagnosed with septic arthritis in his hip.
He was transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital and had surgery to wash out the infection in his joint.
To their horror they then discovered that he had contracted meningitis again - this time meningococcal - a combination of meningitis and blood poisoning.
Sufyan was in hospital for four weeks on antibiotics, and Nazmeen stayed with him while Amar and the rest of the family once again did their best to try to care for the couple’s older toddler son Sebhan.
Amar said: “It was bad enough the first time, but to get it a second - it was a shock, and harder for his body to fight it. My sister and father took time off work to help, but it was a struggle.”
Now, five months later, Sufyan is well and his parents are hopeful for the future.
Amar said: “At the moment he seems a normal child, he’s walking and babbling.
“He’s a very lucky child - he’s a miracle baby to us.”