A MUM has praised a nursery for the care it showed her little boy when he was gravely ill with meningitis - and suggested a fundraising toddle waddle.

One of Sam Taylor's twin sons, Alex, became desperately poorly while at Greenview Nursery in Blackburn.

The tot, then aged three, started showing symptoms of the contagious disease, and was sent home, along with another child who was ill.

Sam, 33, said: "He had a tummy ache and a high temperature and was very tired, and then in the evening he started being sick. I noticed some marks on his arm as well.

"We went to the hospital and they rushed him into a room to start taking blood from him. They said his veins weren't working properly so then we started panicking."

Doctors at the Royal Blackburn Hospital ran several tests.

As well as Alex and his twin Toby, now aged four, Sam and her husband Simon have another son, Ethan, eight. Their two-year-old nephew, Ralph - who had meningitis as a baby - was also staying with them.

"We were freaking out. We were also worried in case it had spread to the others," said Sam.

Alex was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia and was kept in hospital for a week. He was given two types of antibiotic, a blood plasma transfusion and later vaccinated for meningitis B.

The family were also given antibiotics, and all staff and children at the nursery on Green Field Lane were vaccinated.

Sam said: "It was very scary. Alex was so poorly for ages. The hospital had to take blood so often that they started using the veins on his feet. It was really painful for him and he had so many bruises that he couldn't walk for two weeks afterwards."

Fortunately, Alex made a full recovery though he will need a hearing test in the coming weeks before he and Toby start at St Paul's CofE Primary School in Hoddlesden in September.

Sam is a teaching assistant at a primary school, and Simon, 38, is a manager at British Gas.

The mum-of-three, from Milking Lane, Darwen has praised the nursery and suggested all the children take part in a 'toddle waddle' to raise money for the Meningitis Now charity.

"The boys have loved going to nursery. They've been fantastic there. They really care for the children as if they're their own, and if there's any problems with them being even slightly ill, they always ring me as a precaution.

"We wanted to do the toddle waddle to raise money for the charity and give something back."

The toddle waddle saw the children dress up in costumes and hats, and wave flags, to raise more than £300 for the Meningitis Now charity.

Katie Walmsley, owner of the nursery said: "The toddle waddle was good fun. We wanted to make some positive memories and raise awareness of this serious illness.

"It was a nice way to say goodbye and good luck to the two children who are leaving us to go to school in September.