Reggie Thomas was just nine weeks old when the deadly infection took hold and left him “seconds from death”.
Mum Chloe Skinner, 20, took him to a minor injuries unit at Camborne Redruth Community Hospital as his temperature soared while his hands and feet remained cool.
The symptoms are a tell-tale sign of meningitis but Chloe claims the family were left waiting for an hour-and-a-half before an ambulance could take her to another hospital.
During the wait a purple and blotchy rash and spread all over young Reggie's body.
By the time he finally reached a mainstream hospital doctors told Chloe that Reggie was moments away from death and treated him with emergency antibiotics, the mum said.
He was placed in an induced coma and then transferred 170 miles to a specialist unit.
After six days of treatment he was allowed back home to Camborne, Cornwall, and is expected to make a full recovery.
“We got to the hospital and they told me to wait for an ambulance,” Chloe said.
“Reggie was in his pram, and while we were waiting for the ambulance I took him out and laid him on the bed.
“I took his baby grow off and a rash started to appear – It was red and blotchy.
“I was waiting for an hour and a half, the staff there were pretty shocking. While I was waiting his rash started developing. They didn't even test it with a glass.
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“It wasn't busy, I don't know why we had to wait.”
Eventually the ambulance arrived, and the young family were rushed off to the county's major hospital – Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske.
“By the time we got there the rash was purple with small dots all over his body,” Chloe recalled.
“As soon as we arrived, there were four or five doctors on him. They were fast and quick.
“Reggie was seconds away from dying. If they hadn't got the antibiotics into him straight away, Reggie would probably have died.
“It happened so quick, it shows you that every minute is vital.”
Baby Reggie was transferred to intensive care on May 18 where he was put into a coma so he could recover properly.
A team of specialists from Bristol Royal Hospital For Children then arrived at Truro and worked on Reggie for three hours to stabilise his condition.
At 9pm he was driven to Bristol while Chloe, Reggie's dad Kyle Thomas, 31, a scaffolder, and her mum Julie Skinner followed anxiously by car.
“I was really angry with myself and I was really scared and wondered if he was in pain,” she said.
“I thought to myself, 'he's alive. Oh my god, this is my baby and he's alive’.”
A spokesperson for Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the minor injuries unit, said: “We are unable to comment on individual patient cases and would encourage Ms Skinner to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust on 01208 834620 to discuss her experiences.”
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