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One-yr-old 'miracle boy' dies of meningitis after his parents mistake symptoms for teething trouble

Blake Murrell's mother Michelle tearfully recalls how when they took him to the hospital the doctors said that 'there was nothing they could do'
Blake Murrell, a one-year-old, died of meningitis after his parents mistook his symptoms for teething trouble (GoFundMe)
Blake Murrell, a one-year-old, died of meningitis after his parents mistook his symptoms for teething trouble (GoFundMe)

CAMPBELTOWN, SYDNEY: A devastated family, who lost their one-year-old ‘Miracle Boy’ to meningitis, has been sharing their grief after mistaking the child's symptoms with teething issues and an everyday virus.

The family first came across Blake Murrell's illness when his mother Michelle, 40, picked him up from childcare on July 28 and noticed her son seemed a little under the weather. Michelle assumed that Murrell, who seemed like he was bouncing back, had just contracted another everyday virus with mild symptoms. 


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Over the next 10 days, Murrell started to look and feel better, but suddenly, on August 7, his condition deteriorated and his parents rushed him to the Campbeltown Hospital, where the doctors ran some tests and revealed that the boy was suffering from a swelling in the brain. Medics immediately approved his transfer to Sydney Children's Hospital.

one-year-old Blake (GoFundMe)
Blake Murrell died after his parents mistook his meningitis for teething problems and an everyday virus (GoFundMe)

The next day, Murrell was transferred to Sydney Children's Hospital and placed in a medically-induced coma in their ICU. Doctors officially diagnosed him with bacterial meningitis days later and told his mother that "there was nothing they could do." Sadly the little boy succumbed to his illness on August 16.

Speaking about the child's heart-wrenching death, a grief-stricken Michelle told DailyMail that she called Blake a "miracle" because she had him after multiple miscarriages and failed IVF rounds. 

Blake Murrell's family, especially his seven-year-old brother have still not gotten over the shock of his death (GoFundMe)

"I first noticed Blake was sick when he started having a fever but we were not worried as he had been bringing home bugs from daycare constantly," she told Daily Mail Australia. "He started with a bit of a fever but he was also teething at the time with about three or four teeth coming through at once. So we were keeping on top of that and he had some vomiting and fevers and that sort of thing but we weren't overly concerned," Michelle added, stating that over the next day, Blake started to show some progress.

"He would be all good and then suddenly be really, really lethargic, it was up and down throughout the week so I never felt the need to take him to hospital or anything," Michelle said, adding, "I'm a nurse so I just kept him hydrated and managed the fever until one night I noticed he was holding his head funny and that caught my attention. He just looked really stiff and so I decided to take him to the hospital." She also revealed that doctors at Campbeltown hospital ran some tests on him before trying to get his fluid up on August 7. "He had a fever at the time and they took him straight in because he was quite dehydrated despite us keeping up his fluids," she said.

"Then he started doing seizure-like stuff, it was like jerkiness in his arm and his leg. They then took him to do blood work and after they got the results they could see that he had quite a bad infection. They covered him with four different antibiotics and I suppose meningitis was in the back of their mind but they never really gave a clear diagnosis of it at the time," she added.

One-year-old dies from meningitis after family mistakes his symptoms for tooth issues (GoFundMe)
Blake Murrell succumbed to meningitis after his family mistook his symptoms for teething issues (GoFundMe)

Michelle said that doctors told her the antibiotics he had been taking had started fighting the infection but because of the swelling to his brain. Michelle added that her seven-year-old son Lachlan, who was devastated with the death of his younger brother, was seeking comfort in Blake's toys to get through the nights. "Lachlan is doing well during the day at school but he is just struggling at night," Michelle said. According to her, for the past few weeks, Lachlan has been coming in at night and he cuddled with his brother’s toys.