Meet Perth’s bravest young battler. Robbie Buchan’s incredible fight against Meningococcal B septicaemia.

His parents want to campaign for change. They want the government to cover the cost of Meningococcal B vaccines.

They say it is the only way to battle this disease.

Speaking to Today Tonight Robbie’s parents Iain and Desiree share their story.

Little Robbie had been unwell but doctor’s told them he had possibly just picked up a bug from a recent holiday.

Desiree got up that evening to cover her little man with his blanket when she noticed 3 little spots on his back.

She rushed him to hospital, and within 20 mins his entire body was covered.

On the everyday hero page his parents write – At the age of 5 and ½ months old our beautiful son, Robbie contracted Meningococcal B septicaemia. As a result of this he has had amputations on all four of his limbs.

This consists of bilateral through the knee, below the elbow on his left arm and through his upper right arm.

When Robbie was initially admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth , we were told by the Intensive Care Unit consultants that if he made through to 48 hrs he would have only a 50% chance of survival however we may still need to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to our son.
Our entire life was being destroyed day by day by this evil disease.

Robbie survived and has fought incredibly hard for the life he has today. Whilst in ICU he was attached to a ventilator as he could not breathe for himself and was sedated into an induced coma so he would not feel the pain of the destruction the meningococcal had caused to his little body.

Robbie was in the intensive care unit for 2 months before he was well enough to be transferred onto the Burns ward under the care of former Australian of the Year, Dr Fiona Wood.

80% of Robbie’s body was covered in necrotic tissue that required daily dressings in order to minimise the risk of infection until the amputation surgery occurred. Robbie endured these daily dressing changes for over a year before the surgery and as a result Robbie has the length on his limbs he otherwise would not, if the amputations occurred when he was first admitted.

The longest recorded case study of waiting in the world before amputations have occurred in meningococcal survivors is 40 days. Robbie’s amputations occurred after one year. In the process of waiting and learning from Robbie and his ability to heal himself, he has gained length and has changed the medical world for the good as the processes used for the first time, to gain length of Robbie’s limbs will now be used to help other survivors.

We wish little Robbie all the best.
You can donate to the family HERE.

Share your comments below.

Image via Everyday Hero

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  • Heard Dr. Fiona Wood talking about Robbie’s case when she was the subject of a portrait by Ahn Do the other day. She says he has spurred her on to even greater heights. So sorry for Robbie and of course for all who may get this disease. Seems people of all ages can get it.


  • Vaccines are so important – and cost effective!


  • We had no idea about this until our 4yo’s recent immunisations. We will get this done, but it is definitely something that the Govt should make available. There are a lot of people out there that can not afford these costs.


  • I paid for this vaccine for my 1st and will do the same for my 2nd. It’s really not something we can afford but we will make the sacrifice because I want to keep my kids as safe as possible. The government should be including this in the immunisation schedule.


  • Many parents may not even be aware of the vaccine. Regardless of that the Govt. should make it available. They should think of the health and wellbeing of the thousands of people that could contract it through brief contact with another person and keep spreading it.
    The Govt. should also realise that it is better to vaccinate free of charge or at a very reduced price rather than treating patients, witnessing the destruction of lives.


  • Little fighter. I hope something good comes out of this heartbreaking situation.


  • Poor Robbie and his family. unfortunately I think people having to pay for the vaccine, is just an excuse.some people are against vaccination


  • yes it should be covered! Children should get every chance for a healthy childhood


  • This precious amazing little fighter! Thank goodness this mum kept an eye on him and listened to her instincts. This is a devestating disease. Interesting medical leaps with the length of time prior to amputation and length of limbs


  • I don’t understand why the cost of this vaccine is not covered like other vaccines are.


  • Wishing him all the best. I think government should definetly help subside vaccine cost.


  • How sad! This child has lost his arms and his legs. And to think it could have been avoided if the vaccine was more readily available, more affordable.


  • Wishing Robbie and his family all the best for the future and yes the government should help families with this.


  • Yes, I am following this case. Poor child. The meningococcal B vaccine is as important as the C one, so I agree that the Government should cover it. I think it costs around $150 for the first doses. I’m not sure if there are then 1 or 2 boosters. Quite expensive if you have to pay it yourself.


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