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Ailla T’s story

13th April 2024

When Ailla from Northants was a baby she became ill and her mum, Kim suspected this was something more serious than the colic that was initially suggested. In hospital Ailla was diagnosed with viral meningitis and made a good recovery. Now a teenager, Ailla is fundraising for Meningitis Now.

Ailla case study

“Ailla became sick almost 12 years ago but as I write these words, the feelings come flooding back. The support we received from Meningitis Now was so important for us and our family is so thankful.”

“When you are just getting to know your new baby and unsure of what's 'normal' for her, it is difficult to know if she is just unsettled or if there is something more serious.

“My daughter was only 4-weeks-old and we were originally sent away from out of hours with colic. But as the days progressed, my mother's instinct got stronger and I could tell my baby was not right.

“Thanks to an insightful GP we were sent to the paediatric ward. When we got there, the one thing the doctor said that stood out to him was my report of my daughter's irritability. They were very good at looking after her and started her on treatment immediately while they were waiting for her lumbar puncture results.

Alleviate some anxiety 

“I will always remember the one nurse who came into our room. He said the cot looked a bit roomy, so created a nest of blankets for Ailla so she was swaddled. That small act just helped alleviate some of my anxiety about what was happening.

“On top of the worry about Ailla and concern about my 4-year-old at home, I had just been through a really tough pregnancy and a rather traumatic birth, resulting in an emergency caesarean. I seemed to be forgotten about. I had an infection in my c-section scar with daily dressings that I was doing myself. I was also trying to breastfeed, but was not offered a pump and was really uncomfortable sleeping on a hospital pull out bed.

“I was scared, tired, and so incredibly worried about my new daughter.

Came home, but not 100% 

“Ailla was diagnosed with viral meningitis. I knew that she just needed to ride this out and antibiotics were not going to do anything. I think the fact that she was a robust 11lbs 8oz when she was born helped her fight this awful disease. And she is indeed a fighter. My little Ailla was well enough to come home, but was still not 100%. She didn't want to feed and cried a lot.

“I found myself crying a lot too. I didn't know what else to do as we were discharged with nothing. No follow up, no information about what to expect in the days after, no information about after-effects to look out for. I started to search on the internet and found a meningitis charity (which is now Meningitis Now). I was a bit hesitant to call. I am an advanced nurse practitioner. In my head, I thought I was weak if I asked for help because in my job, I am meant to be helping others.

Support was imperative 

“I called and a representative came to my house and had a chat. They were able to arrange for local counselling sessions. This support was imperative while Ailla was recovering, but also helped me gather my thoughts, so I could be there for Ailla and my family.

“Ailla thankfully has no long-standing issues and is a healthy, strong, kind-hearted young lady.

“Ailla became sick almost 12 years ago but as I write these words, the feelings come flooding back and are very palpable. I have what I consider unhealthy anxiety whenever my children are unwell and I will never forget the feeling I had of being in hospital and the worry. I definitely have some PTSD from it. The support we received from Meningitis Now was so important for us and our family is so thankful.

Thank you Ailla

“We have done some fundraising in the past, but this time, it was Ailla who arranged everything. For the last seven days, Ailla has stood outside her school every morning and afternoon, in all sorts of rain and wind, collecting for Meningitis Now. I am so proud of her.

“I hope the money raised will help another family who are affected by meningitis and need support.”

If you’d like to support Ailla’s fundraising efforts please visit her fundraising page.

And to find out more about fundraising for Meningitis Now, you can have a look at events, opportunities and other ways you can get involved on our website. or get in touch with our Fundraising team on fundraising@meningitisnow.org.