Meningitis Now staff member Helen Hillier

Hannah S's Story

Helen Hillier 2nd February 2017

Hannah contracted meningitis on her 19th birthday, but like anyone her age put her headache and sickness down to a hangover

Hannah S CS

Hannah thought her symptoms were the effects of a big night out for her birthday, she had no idea it was something much more serious.

“I woke up on the morning of my birthday feeling really hungover. I’d been out with friends the night before so I put my headache and sickness down to that.

“It was a beautiful sunny day in June but I felt really cold. I went back to bed in the afternoon as I was starting to feel even worse and thought I probably had sunstroke on top of my hangover.

“When I woke up in the early hours of the next day, I found a rash all over my thighs.  My headache was even worse and my eyes had become really sensitive to light. On top of this I had a very stiff neck, but had no idea these were clear signs of meningitis.

“My mum, who is a nurse knew there was something wrong straight away and called an ambulance.

 “Once I arrived at the hospital I started vomiting again.

“I spent the next ten days in hospital, some of which was in isolation.

“I had numerous blood tests, a head scan and a lumbar puncture.

“When I was finally allowed to go home, I still had really severe headaches which have carried on throughout my recovery, although they don’t happen as often as they used to.

“I was so lucky that the disease didn’t cause a lot more damage and that my mum recognised the symptoms. It could have been so much worse.”

For more information about the signs and symptoms click here.