AN eight-year-old girl who was struck down with a life-threatening illness is now recovering at home.

Millie Crick, who lives in Malton, spent eight days in hospital battling meningococcal meningitis B, which occurs mainly in babies and young children.

Her father, Paul, said at first they thought Millie was suffering from ’flu when she was taken ill.

He said: “She didn’t feel well and spent most of the day in bed, but as the day went on she started complaining of pains in her head and started hallucinating, which is when we called for the doctor. It was about midnight by then.

“He called straight for an ambulance and gave her an injection of penicillin and they took her straight to York Hospital.”

Paul said Millie had been taken straight to the high-dependency unit. She was placed on a drip and given antibiotics every hour.

“I stayed with her all the time and it was just awful to see her so poorly,” Paul said.

“If the doctor hadn’t given her that penicillin when he came to see her we just don’t know what would have happened.”

Millie was given the all-clear to go home on Sunday.

Paul said the family was now keen that other parents know how to spot the signs of meningitis and stressed the need to act promptly if they had any suspicion.

There are approximately 1,500 reported cases of meningococcal disease each year in the UK. It is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis.

Group B accounts for at least 90 per cent of cases of meningococcal disease.

Most people will make a good recovery, but meningococcal disease can cause very severe illness and leave people with severe after-effects. Common signs and symptoms of meningitis include vomiting, a severe headache, a stiff neck, a dislike of bright lights and convulsions of seizures.

Paul said Millie, who is a big football fan and plays for Brooklyn Under-Nines, was now recovering at home and hoping to go back to Malton Primary School for half days from Friday.

“She is feeling a lot better and this week got a card signed by the Leeds United players which really made her day,” he said. “Doctors said she made a very good and quick recovery which they think was helped by the fact that she eats well and keeps fit.”

Paul said Millie’s mum, Kate, and their four other children had been given antibiotics as a precaution.

They were all thankful Millie was home and well.

“We are just so pleased to see her on the mend. It has been such a nightmare and we are so glad there is a happy end to this.”