A MUM has shared her son's story of recovery after he contracted a life-threatening disease.

Bobby Ratcliffe, aged four, became unwell 'in the space of a few minutes'.

The Bolton family was told their quick-thinking and prompt action saved Bobby's life.

Untreated, bacterial meningitis is almost always fatal.

Mum-of-two Emma Ratcliffe, from Harwood, said: "The onset of the infection was so sudden and quick that it terrifies me to this day. He became unwell in the space of a nappy change.

"I thank my lucky stars every day that we acted when we did.

"Bobby's consultant told us the next day that if we hadn't acted when we did, he would have been in intensive care or worse.

"That thought makes me sick to the stomach as I didn't have a clue about the signs and symptoms of meningitis."

Bobby, who turns five in February, contracted bacterial meningitis in August 2015.

He was rushed to the Royal Bolton Hospital where he was immediately treated with intravenous antibiotics.

Mrs Ratcliffe, aged 31, praised hospital staff for their quick response and community nurses for their ongoing care.

Bobby returned home after four days, and was able to make a full recovery.

Mrs Ratcliffe said: "Luckily, Bobby has made a full recovery and he's developing into a gorgeous little man. But this nasty infection can take a life in less than 12 hours."

To help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms, Mrs Ratcliffe undertook the Great Manchester Run in May 2017, in aid of the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).

The dental nurse, who is also mum to seven-year-old Charlie, urged residents to follow suit.

The charity still has free places available for both the 10k run and half marathon on Sunday, May 2018.

Participants receive training advice, a fundraising pack, and a running vest.

For information visit www.meningitis.org/shop/events/simplyhealth-great-manchester-run or email jenny@meningitis.org.