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Paralympian's mum on son's meningitis fightback

Jonnie Peacock: Overcame meningitis Photo: PA

The mother of Paralympic 100m champion Jonnie Peacock has spoken of how her son overcame meningitis.

Linda Roberts, from Doddington, Cambridgeshire, almost lost her son when he contracted the deadly disease aged five.

She said: "He wasn't really sleeping that well but he was kind of out of it he was a little bit delirious. I rang the doctor and said look he desperately needs another visit. I was out fo the room for two minutes and when I came back in the room Jonnie was just smoothered in that deep purple rash literally on his face from head to foot."

"I really didn't know very much about meningitis at all. I sort of knew there was a rash involved but I even as a mum I didn't know what I should have known at the time. We got to the hospital and he was just taken from me. I looked at one of the doctors and said meningitis and she just nodded and I just thought oh my god this is something hideous that is attacking my boy and I just didn't know what to do I was helpless knowing what to do."

Meningicocal septicaemia was attacking his blood and the lining around his brain.

"I'm not sure that Jonnie has ever really understood how close he was to dying"

Doctors told Linda he had 48 hours to live or die and asked her to say goodbye before they put him into an induced coma.

They were putting a line into his arm at the time and a very weak ow came from him and I just said that's it darling you just fight them and you tell them that you're not going anywhere.

You fight this and I love you and that's all I could say to him believing that those wouldn't be the last ever words that I said to my boy."

– Linda Roberts
Linda Roberts: Jonnie was so determined Credit: ITV Anglia

Jonnie rallied but septicaemia meant lower leg which had to be amputated.

"You know you explain as much as you can to a five year old about the fact that they're going to lose a leg, a leg which won't be there when they wake up but his face when he woke up and he just looked at the gap in the bed where his leg should be and just screamed."

Most parents get to take their child take their first steps once, I got to see it twice.

– Linda Roberts
Jonnie: 'fastest thing on two crutches' Credit: ITV Anglia

"From when he started walking he was running, if he couldn't wear his leg he was the fastest thing on two crutches he was just amazing."

"Determined is a word a lot of people to use to describe Jonnie, at home we call it stubborn and a few other things, ha ha ha."

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