Archer’s story Home Archer’s story When Archer was just five months old, he was diagnosed with meningococcal septicemia W strain. What started as a normal day, ended in every parents’ worst nightmare. Archer woke as his normal happy self but within a couple of hours, he was unsettled, moaning, and had a high temperature. A little later he became very sleepy and would scream if he was touched, and when his lips started turning grey and purple his parents knew something was seriously wrong and rushed him to the emergency room – a decision that may have saved Archer’s life. When they arrived at Ipswich Hospital, doctors were prompted by a purple rash on his chest to test for meningococcal straight away. The initial treatment was antibiotics, and Archer was pumped full of fluid, adrenaline, and many other drugs to keep him alive. Once stable, Archer was transferred to Queensland Children’s Hospital where he spent six days in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, followed by four weeks on the ward. “Life changed a lot when we first brought Archer home. He was on full 24-hour watch, every four to six hours he would need medicine, and the ports in his legs/feet needed to be flushed in between those hours. We took each day as it came and had to accept Archer would have more bad days than good as he continued treatment. It would be a long time before Archer would be back to normal and feeling himself.” Katelyn, Archer’s mum said. Archer and his family made numerous trips to the hospital for various appointments. Archer had ongoing treatment with the burns team, plastic surgeons, and occupational therapists and to date, he has had nine surgeries, four skin grafts and two fingers amputated. “Archer loves music therapy. He didn’t like strangers coming into the room when he was a baby, but he would sit back and watch Kylie play her guitar and loved all the instruments. He also loved the bedside play volunteers; they would come in and distract him from any pain he was in and it was absolutely lovely to see what they do for children in hospital like Archer.” Said Katelyn. Archer is now five years old and has a younger sister who he adores. He visits hospital every three-six months and is currently preparing for major surgery on his ankles and legs to correct the damage caused to his growth plates. But this brave little boy is still smiling and facing everything head-on as he has with all the other challenges he’s overcome. He started Prep this year and recently ran his first cross country. “Knowing how hard running, and even walking long distances are for him, and seeing him run the whole way and cross that finish line felt like winning the lotto! I am beyond proud.” Said Katelyn. 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