Twin Thomas (3) battles meningitis

LITTLE FIGHTER: Thomas Procter-Whitham (3) (S)
LITTLE FIGHTER: Thomas Procter-Whitham (3) (S)
  • Deadly brain bug started out as slight cough
  • Tot has left leg amputated above knee
  • Mum praises Burnley Urgent Care Centre
  • Community rallies with fund-raisers for family

Today we’re urging locals to back a fund-raising drive for a Pendle family who are at the bedside of a little fighter battling meningitis.

Identical twin Thomas Procter-Whitham (3) is currently at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, where he is being treated for meningococcal septicaemia.

Two, three times we were told he wasn’t going to make it and to expect the worst

Dad Adam

The tot has had to have his left leg amputated above the knee, and his brave parents Zoe Procter and Adam Whitham have been told more than once to expect the worst.

Now, the pair, who are also parents to George (3) and Braxton (5), have shared their heart-wrenching story, while thanking the local community for their overwhelming support.

Zoe, of Sheridan Road, Laneshaw Bridge, described how, in less than a week, her son went from having a slight temperature and cough, to being on the brink of death.

Having tried Calpol and Neurofen, and having rung the doctors, Zoe took matters into her own hands and decided to get Thomas to hospital.

Now, along with Adam, she is urging other parents to always trust their instinct as her journey went from a precaution to nightmare.

About two-thirds of the way to the hospital, Thomas began making a strange sound, and when Zoe looked in the mirror she noticed his eyes “had gone”.

The care worker, who is staying at Ronald McDonald House, said: “I was just screaming - I had to carry on to get to the hospital but I just wanted to stop.

“We got to the Urgent Care Centre at Burnley and they were just amazing. Thomas’ blood sugar levels had plummeted, he was having a hypo, and he had a seizure.”

Thomas was blue-lighted to Royal Blackburn Hospital, during which time he began to fidget. But, despite the positive sign, doctors saw a rash beginning to develop once he was at hospital and his parents were given the devastating news their son was to be treated for meningitis.

Zoe (30) said: “They came and told us his heart had stopped for four minutes and they had to revive him, and were doing everything they could. He was on the top dose of everything to keep him alive.”

Zoe and Adam were told Thomas may not survive the illness and, if he did, he may be severely brain damaged.

The youngster was taken to Alder Hey, where he was put in isolation after the virus spread to his blood.

Fire alarm engineer Adam (32), of Gisburn Road, Barrowford, said: “Two, three times we were told he wasn’t going to make it and to expect the worst.

“When they got him to Alder Hey they stabilised him, got him on all sorts of machines and there were 10 doctors for a good couple of days. Now they have taken him off the sedatives, and he is on painkillers. He has slightly woken up, and is opening his eyes but not focusing. We will make requests and he will do it, like squeezing our hands.”

At the weekend it was discovered Thomas had contracted an infection, and on Monday an MRI scan revealed Thomas had two bleeds on the brain.

Local resident Matthew Eyre will be collecting money for the family from 10am to 1pm outside Colne Market Hall on Saturday. He has been offered £100 by Azhar Iqbal if he dresses in pink. And £100 has already been raised at an event at the Old Bridge Inn, Barrowford. To make a donation visit www.gofundme.com/n1tifw