My boy can’t walk, talk or eat after sepsis destroyed his tiny body – The Sun

A MUM has urged parents to trust their instincts – after her six-year-old's body was ravaged by sepsis.

Little Bryan Bru can no longer walk, talk or eat after the killer was triggered by a bout of pneumonia.

Mum Grainne Mccullough, 37, had brushed off her son's viral infection as "nothing serious" after he was sent home from hospital with some medication.

But, just a day later the youngster's condition took a turn for the worse.

He was rushed back to hospital after suffering a seizure.

Grainne, from Drogheda in Ireland, said: "At first he got plenty of fluids and we were sent home from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital after just three days, but the next day he was really tired and pale.

"He started vomiting violently and even had a seizure – I shut down and couldn't breathe, it was pure panic."

Bryan's dad, whom Grainne does not wish to name, took him to the local hospital where he was treated for sepsis – which was caused by pneumonia and colitis in his stomach.

The infection left Bryan fighting for his life, as it put his heart and kidneys under extreme pressure.

Medics were forced  to put the youngster on life support, to help his tiny body fight the infection.

He was moved to Temple Street Children's University Hospital in Dublin, where he spent ten days in paediatric intensive care (PICU).

Doctors even warned his parents to prepare for the worst.

Grainne said: "Doctors told me it didn't look good and sent a priest up to us in the PCIU waiting room.

"No-one expected him to survive.

"They said dialysis could kill him but it was also the only thing that could save him, so we had to try."

To make matters worse, Bryan's blood had such a high level of acid that it was restricting the oxygen in his blood and brain.

And a subsequent MRI scan, performed on Bryan while he was on life support, revealed changes to the basal ganglia part of the brain – which is responsible for controlling movement.

Medics explained this meant that her son may never be able to walk again.

My world crumbled, I was so afraid – inwardly afraid mostly for Byran

Grainne explained: "My world crumbled, I was so afraid – inwardly afraid mostly for Bryan.

"But despite all odds, Bryan's dialysis saved his life and he pulled through."

Bryan was eventually allowed to go home with a prognosis of kidney, heart and brain damage on palliative care.

Grainne has since left her job as a health care assistant and has separated from Bryan's dad, whom she was with for seven years.

Symptoms of sepsis

If you, a loved one, or in the case of medical professionals their patient, feels "severely sick", doesn't appear to be themselves and shows any of the following symptoms, sepsis should be suspected:

  • weakness
  • loss of appetite
  • fever and chills
  • thirst
  • difficult or rapid breathing
  • rapid heart rate
  • low blood pressure
  • low urine output

If a person is suffering these symptoms and they are thought to have suffered an infection – pneumonia, abdominal infection, urinary infection, or a wound – sepsis is a likely cause.

She said: "Myself and Bryan have had a lot of adjusting to do as he has a lot of issues with pain, swallowing and has no balance.

"He is currently taking baclofen, diazepam, clonidine, and melatonin.

"He drags himself around the floor to get around, he is in pain, he gets very frustrated, and also only sleeps 4/5 hours a night."

Grainne is now hoping to get Bryan special care for his neuro-disability, which causes his pain and swallowing problems.

She added: "The waiting lists are horrendous here and he needs specialist care for his heart and other issues.

"He is now under a private paediatrician in Northern Ireland, who have referred him to specialists, which is what I am raising funds for.

"He needs this for his further and without the fundraising, I don't know where we would be."

The Irish mother is now calling for other parents to go with "their gut" and be more aware of sepsis so they can spot the signs sooner.

"Always listen to your gut, if you feel something's not right, go with it," she said. "It can happen so so fast and the mortality rates are high.

"The more awareness there is, the more kids that might be saved."

Grainne has already raised £24,000 for Brian's treatment.

Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor is among those who supported the family's plea, donating £10,000 for the youngster as he "felt his pain".

Grainne's fundraising page can be found here:

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