Dr Abbie Hantgan, London, recalls the moment that the disease changed her younger brother’s life forever.
“My brother was in a near fatal car accident in 2000. His recovery was remarkable; though he suffered from seizures, short term memory loss, and other common effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI). He was also blinded in one eye but, with tireless patience from my parents, he was able to complete his university degree in Photo Journalism.
However, in 2010, Aaron contracted bacterial meningitis aged 32 and he was never the same again. The disease was debilitating to my younger brother who already suffered from TBI.
After the meningitis, Aaron was confined to a wheelchair, and his cognitive abilities decreased drastically. Eventually, the disease took his life earlier this year."
Shocked that meningitis is still prevalent
“During both incidents, I was doing my linguistic field research in Africa and when I told my friends there about the cause of my brother's suffering. They were shocked to hear that meningitis is still an issue in such a wealthy, modern country.
The disease is fast and malicious yet there is hope of eradicating it through support and awareness. Meningitis Now has helped give me understanding of the disease and given me emotional support. I will be fundraising for the charity during this year's Prudential Ride London.”