Catterick Village couple launch fundraiser after twins’ meningitis fight

Jason and Abby with their twins Axel and Acer.

A Catterick Village couple have launched a fundraising appeal after their twin boys overcame a life-threatening meningitis infection.

Abby and Jason Ayer took their newborn sons Axel and Acer to Darlington Memorial Hospital on December 5, five days after they were born, with suspected jaundice.

However, their condition quickly deteriorated, with Acer in particular become very poorly and having to be admitted to theatre and placed on a ventilator.

Doctors told the couple he urgently needed paediatric intensive care but there were no free beds in the country.

Abby said: “Hours passed by agonisingly slowly whilst Acer clung on to life seemingly by a thread.

“Eventually, news came in that there was a place available at Sheffield, but agonisingly by this time, Acer was deemed too poorly to survive a journey of that length.

“More time passed and after more conference calls and discussion by the relevant consultants a place was created for him at the RVI in Newcastle.”

Acer was rushed to the RVI in a specialist intensive care ambulance.

“At this point, we were told to prepare ourselves for the worst as this was now a matter of life and death,” Abby said.

Axel, who was being treated at Darlington Memorial Hospital, then began to deteriorate and stopped breathing.

He was also rushed to the RVI, where he was placed next to his brother in the children’s intensive care unit.

Axel and Acer in hospital.

Abby said: “We will never be able to thank the RVI enough for this because it at least allowed us to be in the same place together, to try to face this nightmare as a family unit, rather than one parent and baby at Darlington, and the other parent and twin at Newcastle.”

Four days later, doctors were able to carry out a lumbar puncture procedure on Axel which confirmed he had viral meningitis.

The diagnosis allowed the doctors to treat the twins more effectively and the couple were able to bring both boys home on December 17.

Abby and Jason have now launch a fundraiser for The Sick Children’s Trust, which runs Crawford House — accommodation at the RVI for families with very sick children.

Abby said: “This gave us a room to stay in within hospital grounds, allowing us to spend maximum precious time with our little boys, not having to worry about commuting daily and allowing us to be by their bedsides day and night.

“Crawford House rely’s purely on public charitable donations, and we feel very strongly that we should try to help raise both awareness, and even more importantly money, to allow other families with similar needs to us to benefit from this fantastic facility.

“Unless you have experienced something like this yourself as a parent, it is impossible to understand just how vital this amazing place is.

“Any donation towards this amazing charity to help other families in need like we were would be hugely appreciated.”

The appeal has already raised £2,800.

To donate, click here.

1 Comment

  1. Darlington Memorial should also be supported the initial care these babies had saved their lives this hospital does not receive the recognition it deserves I would happily donate if some money was given to DMH in acknowledging the fantastic staff at this local hospital.

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