Mum shares heartbreaking photos of baby son fighting for life as a stark warning to other parents

HEARTBREAKING photos show three-week-old Alfie Gee fighting for his life in hospital.

The little one battled meningitis and sepsis, which can be fatal.

Alfie Gee hospitalized with meningitis and sepsis


Alfie Gee hospitalized with meningitis and sepsisCredit: Instagram/MiniFirstAid
The three-week-old exhibited symptoms such as


The three-week-old exhibited symptoms such as “grunts”, lethargy and rapid breathingCredit: Instagram/MiniFirstAid
Mama Caroline Gee from Scotland with little Alfie


Mama Caroline Gee from Scotland with little AlfieCredit: Just Giving

He fell ill shortly after his birth in November 2021 in Elgin, Scotland.

However, his parents had no idea how serious his condition was until it was almost too late.

On the day his symptoms began, mum Caroline, 29, spent what she described as “normal” a few hours visiting her sister and husband.

She spent the time playing with her older son Arthur, three, and chatting with her relatives.

It wasn’t until they got home that evening that she realized something was wrong.

Caroline told the blog Mini First Aid: “I put my older son to bed while my partner Chris cuddled Alfie downstairs.

“Then I fed Alfie and went to bed myself – these newborn days are exhausting.”

“Chris then went to work as he was on night shift so I breastfed Alfie in our bed and ended up sleeping with him.”

“I woke up about an hour later with Alfie pressing the heat on my arm.

“He was really hot, hotter than any of my boys had ever felt.”

The elementary school teacher thought he was just overheating and quickly stripped off his fluffy pajamas.

It was then that she noticed his ribs and neck “pull in” with each breath.

Panicked, Caroline sent several videos to Chris – but no one noticed his skin was also pale and mottled as it was dark at the time.

Alfie’s health deteriorated rapidly, and he began breathing rapidly and making “grunting noises”.

Caroline wasn’t sure what to do. She called 911 and was told her son had to go to the hospital.

“The call operator asked if grunting was normal for Alfie and I burst into tears,” she said.

“I was shocked. I could tell from her tone that it was serious.”

“She said the ambulance was on its way and I had to tell my husband to come home now to be there for Arthur.”

The fear we felt as Alfie fought for his life was terrible.

Caroline Gee

Paramedics arrived and left Caroline in the back of the ambulance with Alfie on her chest to try and regulate his temperature.

In the ER, the newborn underwent numerous blood tests, which revealed “his readings were so bad they thought there must be something wrong.”

“Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and he was transferred to another hospital,” Caroline said.

Doctors told the family that their little boy had sepsis, but they still didn’t know where the infection came from.

All they knew was that he needed urgent treatment.

“There were concerns that he had a gastrointestinal issue because his stomach was so bloated — you could actually see his veins through his stretched skin,” Caroline said.

Alfie was flown to Edinburgh from Aberdeen while his parents made the three and a half hour drive.

Caroline added: “The fear we felt on this journey of being separated from Alfie while he was fighting for his life was terrifying.”

“It’s a drive I don’t want another parent to have to replicate.”


They later learned that Alfie had E. coli meningitis caused by an infection originating in his bladder.

He spent two weeks in hospital in Edinburgh, then another two weeks with daily check-ups and IVs near home.

Luckily he slowly recovered.

But his parents want to educate other parents about the symptoms of meningitis and sepsis so no other family has to endure the same pain.

According to the NHS, the most common symptoms of sepsis in babies and young children are:

  • Difficulty breathing, breathlessness or breathing very quickly
  • Grunting noises
  • Blue, gray, pale, or mottled skin, lips, or tongue
  • A rash that does not go away when pressed
  • A faint, high-pitched scream
  • Being more lethargic than usual or having trouble waking up
  • Seizures or “seizures”

Much also applies to meningitis, but the following symptoms can also occur:

  • A tense or protruding soft spot (fontanelle on the head)
  • A high temperature above 38 °C
  • Being very sleepy
  • Headache
  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Extreme chills
  • Cold hands and feet
  • vomiting or refusal to eat
  • Pain and/or irritability due to muscle pain or severe limb/joint pain
  • A stiff or stiff neck
  • aversion to light
  • “Pinprick like” rash or purple bruising anywhere on the body
  • Mottled skin that becomes paler or bluer in white skin, and an ashy or gray appearance in black and tan skin

Caroline who shaved her head last year to collect money for Ronald McDonald House Charities UK, said: “Alfie never developed a rash due to sepsis or meningitis.”

“Before he got sick, I thought meningitis always comes with that rash that everyone talks about. That’s not true.”

“I remember my brother-in-law asking me if it was normal for Alfie to sleep as long as he does because it’s almost four hours.

“It was the longest he had slept, but I wasn’t worried. He woke up drinking normally and we went home and got on with our day as usual.”

“Unfortunately, like many parents, I had limited knowledge of the signs of sepsis and meningitis.

“I knew about the stiff neck, photosensitivity, and persistent rash associated with meningitis, but the first two are so difficult to spot in young babies with certainty.”

“Alfie didn’t have the typical rash, so meningitis wasn’t a priority for me.”

She added: “I was aware of how serious and life-threatening sepsis was when I watched shows like 999: What’s Your Emergency?” and saw 24 Hours in A&E.”

“Looking at the videos with what I know now, Alfie was a classic case of sepsis, but I wasn’t aware of that.”

“Fortunately, I acted quickly and the result was positive, but speed is absolutely essential, so understanding meningitis and sepsis and recognizing the signs is crucial.”

Vinnie Smith, CEO of the Meningitis Research Foundation said, “Meningitis is feared, and with good reason. Time is of the essence.”

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“With NHS emergency departments under pressure, it’s important that healthcare professionals recognize the signs of meningitis quickly.”

“Unfortunately, we know of many families who have lost loved ones within hours.”

What is sepsis?

SEPSIS is a life-threatening reaction to infection.

This happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts damaging your body’s tissues and organs.

You cannot catch sepsis from another person.

Sepsis is sometimes called septicemia or blood poisoning.

The most common symptoms in babies and young children include:

  • Blue, grey, pale or mottled skin, lips or tongue – brown or black skin may be easier to see on the palms or soles of the feet
  • A rash that doesn’t go away when you roll a glass over it, just like meningitis
  • Difficulty breathing (you may notice grunting sounds or stomach sucking under your chest), shortness of breath, or breathing very fast
  • A faint, high-pitched scream that doesn’t resemble their normal scream
  • You are not responding as usual or have no interest in eating or normal activities
  • Being more sleepy than normal or having trouble waking up

In adults and older children, signs of sepsis may include:

  • Acting confused, slurring, or making no sense
  • Blue, grey, pale or mottled skin, lips or tongue – brown or black skin may be easier to see on the palms or soles of the feet
  • A rash that doesn’t go away when you roll a glass over it, just like meningitis
  • Difficulty breathing, breathlessness or breathing very quickly

Sepsis can be particularly difficult to detect in:

  • babies and toddlers
  • people with dementia
  • people with a learning disability
  • People who have difficulty communicating

According to the World Health Organization, about 11 million people die from sepsis every year – many of them children.

Source: NHS and the UK Sepsis Trust



Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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