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Bridie B’s story

7th December 2023

Bridie, from Peterborough, contracted bacterial meningitis when she was 12 years old. 10 years on, she tells us the story of her recovery.

Bridie case study pic

“I was named the ‘miracle child’ at the hospital as everyone was convinced I wouldn't make it.”

"I was 12 years old when I became unwell. I thought it was just a cold. When the cold turned into sinusitis my parents made me a doctor's appointment.

“During this time I was still going to school. I remember being in an ICT class and we were doing a test. I sat there with a banging headache, but I was too shy to say anything to the teacher.

"The next day I went to the doctors and they told me that I just had a viral infection.

“I went back to the doctors as I wasn’t getting any better. I saw a different doctor and was again told it was a viral infection and I would be fine.

Stiff neck

“A few days passed and I still wasn’t getting better. My mum was due to go to work in the morning but just before she left I threw up on my bed. My neck was stiff, I disliked bright lights, I still had an awful headache and I was very lethargic.

“My mum decided I needed to be seen again. She took me to an out of hours clinic. The staff told her we had to wait 20 minutes. She decided that this wasn’t quick enough and took me straight to A&E.

“I remember getting out the car at A&E and struggling to walk into the hospital. Luckily I was called in to be seen straight away.

"The nurses hooked me up to an IV drip and started treating me for meningitis there and then but they weren’t sure which type I had.

“I was in this hospital for two weeks in total. While I was there I had multiple CT scans, I had my sinuses drained and was having IV medication every day. The doctors confirmed I had bacterial meningitis.

Not responsive

“One night whilst I was in intensive care I was being assessed but I remember nothing about it. My mum rang my dad to get to the hospital because I was awake but I was acting strangely.

“When my dad arrived he sat beside me and I started stroking his face. The doctor came in and I was playing with his lanyard. Both behaviours were out of character for me. My mum told me that I was staring at the clock most of the night.

“The doctors decided that I needed to have an MRI scan. The scan showed that I had an infection on my brain and I was going to need to have surgery.

“After surgery I was taken back to the ward and I remember needing to go to the toilet. I tried to get out of bed but I lost all feeling in my right leg. I had to have help to get to the toilet as I was unable to walk.


“I had to have physio for a week to gain strength back in my leg. I am so grateful that the feeling in my leg did come back.

“Once I was discharged from hospital I had to have antibiotics through a PICC line for two months.

"I am now nearly 10 years on from having meningitis and I am grateful every day that I am still here. I was named the ‘miracle child’ at the hospital as everyone was convinced I wouldn't make it.

“My message to readers is to always act fast if you spot any signs or symptoms of meningitis in yourself or anyone else."