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Anthony A's story

2nd November 2018

Anthony had seemed fine on the Tuesday morning when he left home for work. That evening he had a high temperature, headache and was vomiting, but there was no reason to believe it was anything other than a nasty stomach bug

Anthony A's story

By the following morning though the 61-year-old had developed a rash and was rushed straight to hospital, where sadly he died from meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. His sister Nicky tells their sad story here.

“My brother Anthony left for work on the Tuesday morning. We would normally catch up over the weekend but he had been busy with his family – he had three boys – and visitors, so had called me on the Monday night instead. He was fine and we had a nice chat. There was certainly no suggestion he felt unwell in any way.

“On that Tuesday, he took some colleagues out to lunch as one of them was marrying on the Saturday. A couple of hours after returning to work he started to shake and felt unwell. His colleagues thought he might have food poisoning but no one else was affected and they sent him home in a taxi.

“He had a high temperature, headache and was sick in the night. His wife Helen had no reason to believe it was anything other than a nasty stomach bug or flu, which his symptoms suggested.

Obvious he was seriously ill

“By the morning it was obvious he was seriously ill and she called an ambulance. Beneath his pyjamas a rash had appeared. A quick test by the paramedics confirmed he had meningitis. He was taken straight to hospital and admitted into intensive care.

“I received a call from my sister in law on the Wednesday morning and immediately went down to London from Scotland where I live. The medical team worked very hard to keep him going and took steps to take the pressure off his organs including by putting him on dialysis. Sadly, I didn't manage to get there in time and he died just before I arrived.

Devastating impact

“The suddenness and unexpectedness of it was unbelievably shocking and had a devastating impact on the family, including our elderly mother, who died seven weeks later unable to cope with her loss. Friends in the local community where he lived also couldn’t believe it and his colleagues and many acquaintances at Lloyds of London where he worked as an underwriter were stunned.

“Everything changed in a day. His three boys lost their father who they adored and his wife her husband just when they were looking forward to retiring. We are a small family and within a matter of weeks, I had lost my closest relatives. As a family, we are all still trying to come to terms with it. My sister in law said he had had a slight sore throat over the weekend but it had cleared up by the Monday and we wonder if that was the start of it.

“It helps to know you are not alone in being affected by this terrible disease. It is also a huge comfort to know there are organisations such as Meningitis Now working hard to create an awareness that will save lives.”