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'Little fighter' battles for life; HEALTH: Premature baby born in a B&B is cruelly struck down by meningitis.

Byline: By Patrice John

A BABY who was born prematurely in a Blackpool bed and breakfast has been struck down with meningitis.

Christopher Hoggarth survived being delivered by a landlady who had no medical training after mum Laura mistook labour pains for back pain.

But in a cruel twist the tot, who arrived ten weeks early and was due to be immunised in days, is now in intensive care.

His 40-year-old dad, who is also called Christopher, said: "I feel like I've been kicked in the teeth, especially when I think of the sort of start he had in life.

"The hospital are doing everything they can but it is all a matter of time and waiting.

"We still don't know what damage the disease has done to his brain."

Christopher, who was in the breech position, was born at 2am on September 3.

His parents Christopher, a school caretaker, and Laura, a 2 3-year-old housewife, from Small Heath, were visiting Blackpool for the weekend.

But Laura went into labour while Christopher was out to buy her paracetamol for what she thought was a back pain.

Little Christopher was delivered by Noreen Westhead, the landlady of Camelot B&B, in Blackpool.

He weighed just 3lb and was taken to a special care baby unit at Blackpool's Victoria Hospital.

He was transferred to Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital but was allowed to go home at the beginning of October.

His parents noticed he was ill last Sunday and took him to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

But his mum Laura said she hopes her 'little fighter' will be able to pull through. She said: "He is a real little fighter and the way he was born shows us that.

"But after everything we have been through this is horrible.

"We noticed he was ill when he was not feeding and he was not sleeping either. He also started to get a stiff neck.

"It was on Sunday night we took him to the hospital. We are hoping and praying for the best."

CAPTION(S):

FAMILY...the Hoggarths with baby Christopher, who is in hospital fighting meningitis.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 28, 2006
Words:351
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