AN Ellesmere Port teenager who ‘nearly died’ several times is being sent home today (Thursday, August 4) after an eight-month stay in hospital.

James Eaton, 14, became ill with high temperatures and lethargy in December 2021.

As his symptoms persisted, his mum Georgia, a 36-year-old retail worker, took him back and forth to the doctor and to A&E, but it wasn’t until January 2 that James was admitted to hospital, after he lost consciousness and suffered violent seizures at home.

Georgia, who is also mum to 11-year-old Alfie, said: “I found James in bed, unresponsive. He was black and blue.

"His eyes were white, he had blood coming out of his mouth and his lips were blue.

"I called for an ambulance and when we arrived at the Countess of Chester Hospital, a crash team was waiting for him outside.

"They did some tests and within half an hour, a doctor came to me and asked me to sit down. They said he had a collapsed lung, a major chest infection and sepsis. He had to go on life support.

"Knowing James was fighting for his life, was the hardest thing to process.”

James was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in West Derby, Liverpool. When he got there, he was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), where he stayed for the next four weeks.

Alfie, left, with James Eaton. Pictures: Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.

Alfie, left, with James Eaton. Pictures: Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.

Georgia said: “Nobody seemed to understand why James was so poorly and there were times when they didn’t think he’d make it. However, with all his strength, he pulled through time and time again.”

When James was ready to leave ICU, he was moved to Ward 4b, a dedicated ward for neurology and long-term ventilation, but he soon deteriorated again, and had to go onto the high dependency unit (HDU).

Two hours after he went onto HDU, James’s heart stopped, and he found himself fighting for his life again.

Georgia said: “I got the call to tell me what had happened, just as I was putting my key in the door of my room at the Ronald McDonald House Alder Hey, where I was lucky enough to be staying.

"Being so close to James meant that I could run over to the hospital and be there within minutes.

“When I arrived at the House back in January, I had nothing with me other than the clothes I’d thrown on that morning.

"Feeling anxious and lonely, not only was I given somewhere to rest and sleep, but I was also given food and drink, having eaten and drank nothing all day. I will never forget that first greeting and the way in which the staff wrapped their arms around me.”

Finally, after months in hospital, James was diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis, a rare neurological condition causing inflammation of the brain.

He’s had a myriad of different treatments, including steroids, therapeutic plasma exchange, and he’s been put on a ketogenic (keto) diet to try to control his seizures.

Georgia said: “It’s not been an easy ride. He’s been in and out of HDU, having gone into respiratory arrest several times.

"Gradually though, he’s got better and stronger, and we’re now about to be discharged and go home for the first time in months.

"As I approach the end of my stay at the Ronald McDonald House, it’s mixed emotions. I feel like I’m leaving my second family but I’m also excited and can’t wait to spend the rest of the summer with both my boys at home together.

James Eaton, left, with mum Georgia and brother Alfie. Pictures: Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.

James Eaton, left, with mum Georgia and brother Alfie. Pictures: Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.

"I’m so grateful to everyone who’s helped us to get here and can’t thank them enough.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK is an independent charity, which operates 13 Houses across England, Wales, and Scotland, providing free ‘home away from home’ accommodation.

The Houses keep families together, close to their children in hospital. They provide a place to sleep, cook and retain some sense of normal life; a lifeline for families at a very stressful time, especially when they are far from home.

A Ronald McDonald House saves each family on average £1,240 in out-of-pocket accommodation expenses.

Lynne Wright, house manager at Ronald McDonald House Alder Hey, said: “It’s been our absolute pleasure to accommodate Georgia since James’s hospital admission in January, but we’re so pleased for her and her boys that they get to go home now.

“As a charity, we are proud to be able to help ease the financial and emotional burden of having a sick child in hospital.

"We believe that when a child is sick, the entire family needs comfort and support. We work closely with our NHS hospital partners to support family-centred care by giving families a place to stay, moments away from their child’s ward.”

For more information, visit