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Camilla B’s story

27th February 2024

Single mum Camilla fell ill in August last year with headache, sickness and neck stiffness. As her condition worsened the 31-year-old, from Ingleton in North Yorkshire, was rushed to hospital, where viral meningitis was diagnosed.

Camilla's story

“Meningitis has changed my whole life, but I am so thankful every morning that I survived.”

“It all started on a Tuesday evening with what I thought was a migraine.

“I’m a single mum to an at the time three-year-old boy, so I had to go through the usual nightly routine. Once he was in bed I went to bed.

“I woke up vomiting in the middle of the night, with an agonising and debilitating headache, neck pain and photophobia. I had to get my dad to come and take my son to nursery.

The pain got worse and worse

“I went back to bed and contacted my mum. I made a doctor’s appointment for later that day and slept all day. The pain got worse and worse.

“My mum arrived to take me to the doctor. On arrival she called for an ambulance and when they arrived they quickly assessed me and began treatment for meningitis.

“I was blue lighted to A&E, where I was placed in quarantine.

Second opinion

“One doctor tried to tell my mum it was just a migraine. We had a second opinion and they straight away knew what it was. I had multiple scans and was admitted to a side ward as I was highly contagious.

“After an agonising lumbar puncture it was confirmed as viral meningitis.

“It turns out I also suffered a TIA (a mini stroke caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain) due to the strain on my body from the meningitis.

Fighting every day

“I still suffer with horrendous after-effects and have an extremely long and painful road ahead, but I’m fighting every day to get my life back.

“I can’t do the things I used to do, such as horse riding. I struggle when it comes to a full day out. I become exhausted. My right side has been heavily impacted, and when I become very tired my speech is slurred and I forget words.

“My little boy is just about to turn 4 now and he has been absolutely amazing throughout the whole thing. He fully understands when mummy is tired or mummy’s body can’t function properly.

“I was forced to leave my job due to the lack of support and understanding from the management team. Meningitis has changed my whole life, but I am so thankful every morning that I survived.”