Mum thought newborn had caught a cold but days later he turned blue from sepsis

A mum has shared how her newborn baby turned blue from sepsis after thinking he had just caught his sister’s seasonal cold.

Chloe Hodgkinson, 22, from Haydock, Merseyside, was visiting her GP for a follow-up regarding an abscess on her leg and decided to bring her 11-day-old baby Joshua along.

After leaving the GP surgery, the baby’s dad, Teejay, looked at the newborn and noticed their baby boy had begun to turn blue.

Chloe rushed back into the surgery with Joshua and begged for help.

The doctor instantly began performing CPR while the clinic called for an ambulance.

‘I remember just sitting there with my head in my hands, distressed, thinking that my son was going to die right in front of me,’ Chloe said.

‘He had cold and flu symptoms a few days before but we thought he had caught it off our one-year-old daughter, Alexis.

‘We thought it was nothing more than a slight bug and being around her snuffly nose and cough.

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‘When the doctor and I looked down at him, Joshua had turned blue. This was when our whole world began to fall apart.

‘The atmosphere was just unbearable. I was knelt on the floor with Teejay stood behind me screaming in tears.

‘My dad rushed to the surgery to which he had to leave the doctors room it was that upsetting and traumatising. Seeing our son – a seven pound baby – on the floor receiving CPR isn’t something I think anyone can stomach well.’

Joshua eventually came around before the ambulance arrived and the baby was rushed to Whiston Hospital.

Chloe said that doctors wanted to discharge Joshua after a short stay and believed the blue skin had been a result of choking on breast milk.

However, Teejay noticed a rash on Joshua’s body and the parents asked that their child be looked over again.

Medical staff then noticed the baby had stopped breathing once again.

The family were taken to a high alert room where Joshua was placed on assisted breathing equipment.

‘There were so many cannulas coming out of his tiny body,’ Chloe recalled.

‘As he was a newborn, you can only begin to imagine how distressing this was for us as parents.

‘He had a brain scan, X-rays, heart scans and a lumbar puncture which we were not allowed to attend due to it not being a nice sight.

‘It was a really scary time and I didn’t even have the time to think about what was going on with me. All I cared about was my baby boy.’

After a week of antibiotics and round-the-clock care, Joshua’s condition began to improve.

He was later discharged and hasn’t experienced any further health scares since.

‘It’s scary to think that if we were not at the doctor’s surgery at that point in time, we could have lost our son,’ Chloe explained.

‘I’m so thankful I have my cheeky little boy with the world ahead of him in my life.’

Chloe now wants to warn other parents about the signs of sepsis.

‘Newborns are generally sleepy and unable to communicate, it’s so difficult to identify the signs,’ she noted.

‘The symptoms of sepsis in babies are rarely ever talked about.

‘As young parents we didn’t know about sepsis or the signs to look out for, Teejay and I were just 18 and 21 at the time. With Joshua, his signs of sepsis came from cold and flu symptoms.

‘He didn’t have a high temperature and he wasn’t displaying any abnormal symptoms as newborns are rather lazy anyway.

‘I would just tell other parents please, go with your gut. Babies are so unpredictable and it can quickly turn into a situation of life and death.’

Warning signs of sepsis

Symptoms in babies and children include:

  • Rapid breathing/shortness of breath
  • Cold, mottled, pale skin
  • Very high or low temperature
  • Bluish skin or lips
  • Poor feeding
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Lethargy/difficulty waking
  • Little or no urine output
  • A non-fading rash
  • Sepsis Research FEAT says: ‘Above all, parents should trust their instincts. If you have any concerns whatsoever that your child may have sepsis, please seek urgent medical attention.’  

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