Nearly a decade on, Caroline, from Maidstone in Kent, told us what happened.
“Af came home from a meal with friends on Sunday 5 December 2010 saying that he felt rough. He was cold and shivering and said that he thought he might be coming down with something. He went to work on the Monday but wasn’t feeling great, but he dosed himself up and went to work again on the Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I came back home from visiting my dad with the kids on Wednesday 7. I thought it was strange as his van was there, but all the lights were off in the house. He’d put himself to bed - he said he felt so rough but again taken tablets and hoped to sleep it off. We just thought it was flu.
“I was sorting the kids downstairs when he came down to get some water and spilt it all over the floor. I told him to go back to bed and I’d clear up and bring him up another glass. I went upstairs... he grabbed a plant pot and tried to drink it! I then knew something was seriously wrong and called an ambulance.
Couldn't seem to talk
“Af, who hadn’t spoken a word since he went upstairs, was taken into hospital. He couldn’t seem to talk - this was the most horrendous time of our lives. He was put into intensive care but he wasn’t responding to any antibiotics. He deteriorated gradually and died on the Friday 10 December.
“The shock has been the hardest thing to deal with. From feeling run down with a cold to being rushed into hospital and dying within days; it all happened so quick.
“We were eventually told that it was pneumococcal meningitis, which is more common in children and the elderly. He was 40! A loving husband, a doting father of two young children, a caring son and brother.
“The effect on us all has been horrific. He is missed every day by us all.”