Meningitis Now staff member Helen Hillier

Parents create a moving student awareness video

Helen Hillier 20th October 2016

A group of bereaved parents have created a video highlighting the threat to young people

To coincide with Student Awareness Week, a group of parents who lost their children to meningitis have released a short video, highlighting the risk to young people.

Ailsa Sugrue, who tragically lost her son Teygan to the disease in 2014 describes why she created the video:

“Since losing my student son Teygan to meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia in 2014, my family and I, supported by our wonderful friends, have campaigned to increase awareness of this disease, especially in teenagers and freshers.

“Earlier this year, when organising a fundraising concert I decided that we would show awareness videos for each of the charities we were supporting. I decided that the video for Meningitis Now should be aimed at teens and students, and could be shared during Student Awareness Week.

“It was a while before I came up with the idea of a two minute format. This came from the thought that young people are constantly tapping into a train of continuous information and their concentration time for health information would be limited.

 “I worked with my teenage daughter, her friends and was helped by the families of the young people featured, until I was satisfied that I had produced something that would deliver a clear short, sharp message.

“The positive feedback that I received from everyone involved was overwhelming. It made me feel emotional to have their approval and praise. I felt I had achieved something worthy of all of our children.

 “As a parent we educate our young people to stand up for themselves, to do their best, to not let the negative things in life beat them.

“That's the message behind this video. Meningitis will never beat us and we are not defined by loss but by love. Our love continues and will always be there no matter what; it is our strength and our guide." 

With thanks to the families of Emily S, Ollie, Lauren, Ryan S, Alisha and Teygan.

You can support the campaign and order free materials to help raise awareness here. Or to find our more about the signs and symptoms of meningitis click here. Alternatively contact our free helpline on 0808 80 10 388.