Inspirational Stories QCH Foundation ottawa

Braden’s Story of Survival

Meningitis Symptoms Prompt Mom to Take Quick Action 

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare – a child becoming gravely ill with unexplained medical symptoms. That nightmare was a reality for devoted mom Jyneen and her husband Dan. 

The couple’s 19-year-old son Braden was just back in town following his first year of studies at Dalhousie University when he started feeling unwell on June 8, 2022. Fortunately, he was living at his family home for the summer break, which meant his symptoms didn’t go unnoticed by his mom. 

As the young man’s headache and fever grew to include a rash, confusion and delirium, his mom began to suspect her son could have the rare and potentially deadly bacterial infection meningitis. Within 24 hours from the onset of symptoms, Jyneen gave her son the choice of being driven to the Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) by her or by ambulance. He chose the former. 

When they arrived at QCH, Braden’s mom shared her concern with the ER staff, that her son had contracted meningitis, which can be fatal if not treated quickly. “The staff listened and they acted,” said Jyneen, who only later realized what a critical race against time they were up against.  

There were many other patients in the waiting room that day, including a father and a son who were upset over the time it was taking for treatment of the boy’s ankle injury. “I wish I could tell that family and everyone in that waiting room that day, their delay saved our son’s life,” said Jyneen. 

Doctors quickly administered a course of treatment to relieve Braden’s pain and fever before subsequently getting to work on confirming his case of meningitis, via a spinal tap, and treating him with intravenous antibiotics. 

Jyneen believes it was the swift response of the QCH triage process and experienced medical team, led by emergency physician Dr. Kimberley Creaser, that made a vital difference.  

“We are so appreciative of the care that we received at the hospital, and by how quickly the emergency room triaged him,” she said. “They got him in, they got him assessed, and they started treatment. We had hours to minutes to seconds.” 

That night, Jyneen slept next to her son’s hospital bed in a big, comfortable chair brought in by a kind nurse. “I’ll never forget that gesture,” she said, recalling that she was dressed in full personal protective equipment, including a face shield, in keeping with pandemic protocols. Due to hospital COVID restrictions, Braden’s dad, Dan and sister Tatem, were home and anxiously awaiting updates on Braden’s prognosis. 

Over the next few days, Braden continued his treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at QCH while family and friends worked with Ottawa Public Health to retrace his steps over the past week, to contain and prevent a possible outbreak. 

This fall Braden returns to Halifax to start his third year as an economics major, with a minor in French. He enjoyed the summer at home, spending quality time with his family. Like many young men, he enjoys sports, including hockey and working out. “I like being active. It keeps me busy and keeps me out of trouble.” 

Today, Braden is lucky to be alive. He knows it. His family knows it. That’s why they are so grateful to QCH for the medical care that made a life-or-death difference in his treatment and recovery from Meningococcal group B (often known as Meningitis B or MenB) 

Braden recalls the exceptional care the QCH staff provided to him while he was healing, which he can remember more clearly. “Even though I was away from home, the hospital staff tried to make it as nice and friendly as possible.” 

He also knows he’d never have made it to QCH in time if not for his parents, especially his mom. “If she didn’t love me so much, I probably wouldn’t be here today. It’s true. She always wants to make sure that I’m okay.”  

The Cheney family is so thankful to the QCH team for the life-saving care Braden received that they decided to make a meaningful donation to the Foundation by way of a gift of stock. Their $5,000 gift will be used to purchase a Vital Signs Monitor for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

To learn more about how you can donate stock, securities or life insurance policies to support local healthcare, please visit

Bacterial Meningitis Signs and Symptoms 

Bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency and must be treated quickly. 

Symptoms that may appear in the first six hours: 

  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Irritability 

Symptoms that may appear within six to 12 hours: 

  • Drowsiness 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Leg pain 
  • Pale skin 
  • Symptoms that may appear after 12 hours: 
  • Cold hands and feet 
  • Neck pain or a stiff neck 
  • Rash 
  • Confusion 
  • Decreasing responsiveness 

For information about bacterial meningitis symptoms, treatments and prevention, please contact a medical professional.