Her symptoms were similar to those caused by bacterial meningitis – she had headaches, fever, violent sickness, aching muscles and hallucinations.
Jamie-Leigh is now 18 and still suffering from some of the effects of viral meningitis. She told us about her difficulty getting diagnosed and the effect it has had on her life:
“My first symptoms were an aching feeling in my left arm and I found myself becoming extremely tired. I thought it was down to the stress I’d been under from school and expected it would soon fade."
“Two weeks later I experienced the most excruciating headache and neck pain I've felt in my life, and for the next two weeks I was violently sick. I couldn’t even keep down water. Almost like clockwork, every 10 minutes I would be sick.”
Jamie-Leigh visited her GP three times but meningitis was not identified. As her condition worsened, she began to hallucinate and her parents rushed her to hospital.
“I was unable to talk, stand or eat. I was so weak and my face began to swell. At this point I was put on multiple pain relief and anti-nausea medication and many tests were done.”
“In the end I was in AAU for two weeks. I was diagnosed with viral meningitis at the end of the first week.”
“It was months before I was able to do normal activities for myself, like washing and dressing. Luckily, the only long-term after-effects I have suffered are short-term memory loss and slight hearing loss in my right ear.”
“I am aware things could have been a lot worse and I'm incredibly lucky. If only my GP had considered the possibility of viral meningitis, then I may not have been left in suffering for so long!”