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Anne D's story

31st March 2017

Thirty-nine-year-old Anne, from Southport in Merseyside, became ill in January 2016 with headache, vomiting and sensitivity to light. A lumbar puncture confirmed meningitis and, for a while, her family thought they were going to lose her. She felt so too. A year later she is just returning to work. She tells her story here

Anne D's story

“I worked on the Monday but didn't feel right and started vomiting on the Monday night.

My husband Ian had to take time off work to look after me and our children, Ethan and Emilia, who were 7 and 3 at the time I became ill.

“On the Thursday I went to see my GP, as I hadn't been able to keep anything down. I just slept and vomited. I was told it was viral and that I'd be better the next week. Due to being off work a week I went back to the doctors and saw a different GP. He asked a few questions and said he thought it might be meningitis and would I mind going to hospital.

Meningitis confirmed

“I was admitted to Southport Hospital where I had two lumbar punctures. My bloods were normal when I went in but the lumbar puncture showed my white cell count was over 600 when it should have been less than 18. The first lumbar puncture had blood in and the second confirmed it was meningitis.

“After nearly a week I was transferred to Walton neuro hospital as my symptoms were still the same and the pain was worse. After many tests and lots of medication they were unable to get the pain or symptoms under control.

“They told me they thought it was cancer causing the meningitis and I was seen by Dr Solomon, from Liverpool University, who specialises in brain diseases. I was also seen by the cancer nurse who agreed with my consultant and changed my medication and put me on a syringe driver. This is when I started to come around from lying in a dark room vomiting and not eating to taking my eye mask off and not vomiting as much.

Started to improve

“After two weeks they decided it wasn't cancer, the T cells they had found had disappeared and I started to improve. I needed help with everything but I was coming around. My family had thought I was going to die. So did I!

“After nearly two months in hospital I was allowed home without the driver but on pain control and anti-sickness medication and with help from all the wonderful people at Walton. I have a fantastic consultant, who I thank for still being here, but not for the eight lumbar punctures and one spinal drain.

“I am still off work but due back next month. I have become more emotional, bad tempered and forgetful, but I'm walking without a zimmer frame or stick now. Most importantly, I am here to watch my children grow and I will be forever grateful for that. They couldn't find the cause for my meningitis but my consultant says it was as bad as bacterial and I'm lucky to be here.”