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Caitlin's story

4th January 2019

Nineteen-year-old Caitlin, from Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, contracted meningitis as a baby. Since then she has had mental health and communication difficulties, but is now determined to make a difference and raise awareness. She tells her story here

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“I was a baby when I got bacterial meningitis. From what my mum told me I would have a fit, wake up and smile and then my eyes would roll and I would have another fit.

“The after-effects were with my mental health and having to see different speech specialists at different places. I also for a long time had learning difficulties, which on a small scale still affect me.

“For a long time I hated that I had meningitis. It wasn't until I looked it up and found that some families lose their family members or that when babies survive meningitis some lose their limbs that I started to think about what I could do to make a difference or to raise some awareness.

A lot of help

“Growing up I had to have a lot of help from teachers and from doctors when it came to my speech. Going back to hating having meningitis I was very quiet in general and it did upset me a lot. Now, because of being silent, I have all but become anti-social.

“I’m now finally dealing with my mental health and the outcome of having learning difficulties.

“I’m very silent when talking about meningitis to my family because I feel if I did talk about it I would just be told to grow up and to carry on thinking that I was lucky to have the outcome I had, and I know that.

“I now find it hard to get a job or talk because of how I feel in social areas.”