A devastated mother has shared pictures of her son’s meningitis rash which spread so fast it covered his entire body within 24 hours.

Annabella Hanslow, from Walsall in the West Midlands, noticed a “few dots” on her four-month-old son, Ashley-Jay Greatorex’s, back and while she carried out the glass test usually used to detect meningitis it “failed” for her.

She rushed little Ashley-Jay straight to the emergency room when he was struck down with a temperature and she claims doctors were stumped with the rash.

However after running a stream of tests, doctors eventually found that Ashley-Jay is suffering from both meningitis and septicemia.

“Just giving some pictures to warn people it doesn’t always start like they say it does,” Annabelle wrote on Facebook group ‘Support Baby Ashley’, which was set up by her sister.

Annabelle said the spots were flat and weren’t raised when she noticed them and her son has a wheezy cough and sticky and bloodshot eyes.

“They couldn’t work out the rash at all, they were confused. The first pic with the little dots was from yesterday morning. The last is from this morning,” she wrote.

“Please if anyone worries about it. Go get checked asap [as soon as possible]!

“I’m trying to be so strong for him but I just want to break into a million crumbles and take this nasty disease away.”

The pictures document how quickly the spots spread to cover little Ashley-Jay’s whole, tiny body and Annabelle said she wanted to share them to show other parents that the disease doesn’t always take the form you may think.

meningitis meningitis 1 meningitis 2

Annabelle’s sister took to the Facebook page this morning to update everyone on the baby boy’s progress.

“He seems like he’s ok. He’s looking at you more then he usually does and being more alert. Which is all great signs but he is still very, very poorly,” she wrote.

“The infection level is at 233 when they last checked. We will find out tomorrow what it is now. Cross fingers it comes down.”

The family also asked their Facebook followers to send love and prayers for Ashley-Jay as he battles the illness in hospital.

Keep fighting little man. We hope you make a speedy recovery.

Meningitis Symptoms via Meningitis Centra Aust

Meningitis can be hard to recognise in the early stages.

Symptoms can be similar to those of the common flu and can develop quickly, over a matter of hours.

The main symptoms to look out for are fever, vomiting, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, and drowsiness or altered consciousness. The signs and symptoms do not appear in a definite order and some may not appear at all.

This symptoms list does not include every possible sign and symptom of meningitis. Contact your local healthcare professional to ask about the most common symptoms in your country.

It’s important to know the warning signs and to get medical treatment fast. Until the cause of meningitis is known, it should be regarded as a medical emergency.

Know the Symptoms

Arching of the back (infants)

Behavioural changes
Blank, staring expression
Bulging fontanelle (infants)
Cold hands and feet
Dislike of being handled (infants)
Drowsy or difficult to wake
Listless, less responsive
Loss of appetite, refusing food (infants)
Muscle, leg or joint pain
Neck retraction with arching of the back (infants)
Pale or blotchy skin
Rash or spots that don’t fade with pressure (also called purpure or petechiae)*
Rapid breathing
Seizures, fits or convulsions
Sensitivity to light
Severe headache
Stiff neck
Unusual high-pitched cry (infants)

*Not everyone who contracts meningitis will get a rash. Don’t wait for a rash to appear before getting help.

Last month we shared how a heartbroken mum released the final picture of her dying 14 month old son to raise awareness for meningitis. Read that article here.

Share your comments below.

Images via Facebook

  • so scary! that could happen so quick and it would be a frightening thing to deal with.


  • Glad you were on top of it Annabella and went straight to the ER ! Hope Ashley-Jay recovers quickly soon.


  • I hope he makes a quick recovery. A wheezy cough could easily be thought to be a cold, hayfever, asthma or croup. You cetainly wouldn’t expect it to be meningitis. Thank you for making the effort to share the photos.
    If this baby had been an older child who is a heavy sleeper may have been restless but not woken during the night if really sick I dread to think what the outcome would have been…… I know a 10 year old, that even up to 8 years old you could sit her up, prop her up for support, put her dressing gown and slippers on , she might move but not actually wake up. When she was a baby you could vacuum her room including under her cot and she wouldn’t even stir.


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