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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Sarah Vesty & Keiran Fleming

Carluke schoolboy nearly 'loses eye' after severe infection caused by Strep A

A Carluke schoolboy was left hours from losing his eye following a major Strep A infection and now his mum is warning other parents to ‘trust their gut’.

Lochlan McDonald needed emergency surgery to drain a 3.5cm pocket of bacteria from around his eye at the Wishaw General Hospital days before Christmas.

The eight-year-old had preseptal cellulitis which was putting pressure on his optic nerve and causing severe swelling around the socket, the Daily Record reports.

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After the infection was drained, he was put on an intensive course of IV antibiotics and allowed home on December 23.

Mum Ellis Neill initially thought Lochlan had conjunctivitis and a viral infection but she was alarmed when she noticed the swelling and redness spreading.

The 27-year-old said: “He had a temperature and was complaining of a sore tongue so I took him to the doctors and we just thought it was a viral infection.

“But when he woke up the next day, his eye was swollen. Because I have an eye disease, I don’t mess around with them so I took him back to the doctors who said they thought it was conjunctivitis and I was to bring him back three days later if it hadn’t improved.

“It just kept swelling and swelling more to the point where it was swollen above his eyebrow and the redness had started to track down his cheek. The next day, he wouldn’t eat and wouldn’t get out of the bed which isn’t like him at all.

“There was no life to him at all. I called the optician who told me to take him in later that day. As soon as we walked in, they took one look at him and said he needed to go to hospital.

“We went to the A&E at Wishaw General Hospital and within 10 minutes, one of the staff approached us and said the wait was 18 hours and they were going to try to get him up to the paediatrics ward. Five minutes later, we were up the stairs.

“Within two or three hours, they had specialists from Monklands and Hairmyres Hospital, an ENT surgeon and an ophthalmologist. They said he needed urgent surgery to get a drain on his eye because he had preseptal cellulitis.

“They also told us that if I had left him from the Friday being at the doctors until the Monday, he would have lost his eye. Thank God I trusted my gut. If I hadn't, he’d be getting surgery to have his eye removed.”

She added: “They took swabs during his surgery and the results came back that he had Strep A which caused the infection. He had a 3.5cm pocket at the back of his eye that was pushing on his optic nerve.”

Ellis now hopes to raise awareness about the Lanarkshire Eye Health Network Scheme (LENS) which handles eye complaints without the need to see your GP.

The mum-of-two also issued her thanks to all the staff at the hospital who went “above and beyond” to look after Lochlan.

Ellis said: “The LENS service is like a GP for your eyes. You call up and get triaged to get an appointment, normally on the same day. I hadn’t heard of it before and neither had most people I spoke to.

“I also want to thank the nurses and doctors at the hospital. They were absolutely brilliant though. I could not fault them one bit.

“We had Santa in, Motherwell Football team also came for a visit and a therapy dog. There was so much stuff that they put on to keep the kids upbeat because it was so close to Christmas.”


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