FAMILY UNIT: Member for Southern Downs James Lister with wife Belinda and sons William and Jeremy. Picture: contributed
FAMILY UNIT: Member for Southern Downs James Lister with wife Belinda and sons William and Jeremy. Picture: contributed

MP’s little ‘fighter’ warned of life-threatening diagnosis

SOUTHERN Downs MP James Lister's son remains in Toowoomba Hospital battling what doctors believe to be bacterial meningitis, a potentially fatal illness.

Jeremy Lister, aged 9, was flown from Stanthorpe Hospital to Toowoomba yesterday after medical professionals decided it would be his best option for further testing and treatment.

Mr Lister said his son had already shown symptoms and been hospitalised in Stanthorpe the previous weekend, though had soon been released as his condition improved.

"He went to hospital again yesterday and was there all day while they stabilised him, but (medical staff) soon decided he should be helicoptered out to Toowoomba," Mr Lister said.

"He'd had some really disturbing signs the night before, and I think they said it would most likely be viral, based on normal statistics.

"But, it turns out that it's (likely) the bacterial one, which is the worst to get and can be fatal."

Mr Lister said he and his family were anxiously awaiting further test results for confirmation of Jeremy's illness, as well as viable treatment options.

"He's alright now, and he's talking, but he's very unhappy and not himself at all," he said.

"He's a bit of a fighter though, I know he is, as does the lady who tried to put a needle in his arm."

The concerned father had initially taken to social media to thank emergency services for taking care of his son, and said the wider community's kind messages were equally appreciated.

"We were really touched and grateful for the outpouring of support," Mr Lister said.

"You know in your head that these things are important when people are going through tough times, but when it actually happens to you it becomes very real.

"People have just come from everywhere to give us their prayers and good wishes, and it's been really great to see."

Bacterial meningitis is more severe than its viral counterpart and can become life-threatening without treatment in hospital with intravenous antibiotics.

At this stage, it is uncertain when or how exactly Jeremy contracted the disease.



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