Family Of Bacterial Meningitis Victim Speaks Out - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Family Of Bacterial Meningitis Victim Speaks Out

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Ian Tisdale Ian Tisdale

by Amanda Hara & Heather Graf

LEBANON, Tenn. - A Lebanon family now preparing to bury their little boy is telling their heartbreaking story in hopes of sparing someone else's life.  Five-year-old Ian Tisdale died suddenly over the weekend. 

Health department officials on Monday confirmed it was bacterial meningitis that killed him.

"They said it just spread so fast there was nothing they could do," said his mother, Traci Tisdale.

Ian's parents said he was fine on Saturday, and spent the day playing in the pool with his brother.  At about 6 p.m. Saturday, his father said he started getting sick.  It started with a fever, but his condition quickly deteriorated.

"He was blue and splotching all over.  His stomach, his back, and his face," said Jeffery Tisdale.

By Sunday morning, the family knew something was seriously wrong.

"Oh it was automatic, I knew he had to get to the doctor, and he had to get there fast," said Jeffery.

Ian was taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt Medical Center, but by 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, he was gone.

"They let us go in and tell him good-bye before they took off, so we all got to give him a kiss good-bye," said Traci.

The Tisdales hope their tragedy serves as a warning to other parents, and are urging people to take bacterial meningitis seriously.

"Neck pain along with a headache, that is the first symptom you're going to see," said Ian's grandfather, Perry Ducote.

Ian finished kindergarten at Southside Elementary School in Lebanon on Thursday.  Health officials are now working to make sure his classmates are provided with preventative medicine. 

They're holding a clinic on Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and encouraging parents to bring their kids in so they can be treated.  It will take place in the school's cafeteria.

Health officials have not yet determined exactly where Ian contracted bacterial meningitis.  It's one of many questions his parents hope will soon be answered.

"It can just turn devastating in 12 hours, and be over with," said his father.  "Playing one day and gone the next."

The symptoms of bacterial meningitis include fever, sudden severe headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea and vomiting. Those who are infected usually begin experiencing symptoms within two to seven days of exposure to another infected person.


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