James and Belinda Lister have thanked the local community for an outpouring of well-wishes in recent weeks while their eldest son Jeremy recovers from meningitis.
The State MP for Southern Downs has told the Free Times he believes quick action by medical staff at Stanthorpe Hospital was “most likely life-saving” shortly before Jeremy, 9, was airlifted to Toowoomba back on Tuesday 23 June.
The family returned home last Sunday after an extended stay at both Toowoomba Hospital and the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, with James’ parents Paul and Jennifer having looked after the Listers’ younger son, William, who has been well.
Jeremy Lister contracted bacterial meningitis which is more serious and less common than viral meningitis – both conditions are usually severe and potentially life-threatening, but are also relatively rare.
Meningitis is a severe inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and the spinal cord, with Jeremy also having contracted a blood infection. It is not known how he contracted meningitis but James Lister says a ‘broad-spectrum’ antibiotic administered at Stanthorpe Hospital was crucial.
Jeremy will now require at least a month of further tests and monitoring at Stanthorpe Hospital and continued courses of antibiotic treatment.
He told the Free Times this week he has little recollection of first becoming sick, other than remembering “vomiting and having headaches and neck-aches”.
“I thought it would be over pretty quickly, but it wasn’t,” Jeremy said this week.
He also had to endure numerous needles, an IV cannula, two lumbar punctures and a feeding tube, which he said “felt very weird going in, but it felt better when it came out”.
Jeremy was free of fever for 24 hours by last Sunday afternoon which prompted the all-clear to return home. He can return to school when it resumes next week but will need to avoid most physical exertion for the time being.
Belinda Lister said her son had lost some weight and had spent most of the time in hospital sleeping – and is “still lethargic” – and she and James had taken “round the clock” shifts by Jeremy’s bedside during the hospital stays.
“It was a very severe case and there is still a risk of complications but we’re just so grateful to the staff at all three hospitals, everyone has just been fantastic,” Belinda said.
James Lister said he and Belinda had run into two other local Stanthorpe families with children while in hospital over the past several weeks.
“We’re just so fortunate to have wonderful medical staff at Stanthorpe Hospital and also being relatively close to Toowoomba and Brisbane,” James said.
“Belinda and I would like to sincerely thank everyone in the community for their well-wishes and their prayers and offers of support.
“And a special thanks indeed to my mum and dad who have been looking after William while we’ve been away.”