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Carolina's story

16th March 2019

Carolina was 34 when she became ill with viral meningitis in 2012. She spent a week in hospital but still lives with the after-effects of her illness, which continue to affect her to this day

Carolina's story

Carolina, from Mold in Flintshire, tells her story here.

“In February 2012 I had a headache and it wouldn't seem to shift. I thought I was tired due to having a 7-month-old baby.

“The headache was getting worse and wouldn't go with painkillers. So, I made an appointment with a doctor. My neck had started to get sore but he said it was a migraine.

“By day four I was struggling to focus and my headache was horrendous – even slight movements hurt.

Tiny rash

“The next day I had a tiny rash on my leg. I called the doctor after speaking to the receptionist and she called an ambulance.

“When I went to hospital, I was told suspected meningitis and would I agree to be part of a study (I did). They then sent me for a lumbar puncture, as they didn't know if it was viral or bacterial. Then I was told it may be encephalitis.

“I was told I could not see my baby or my husband in case I was contagious, and put in a side room. The funny thing was the only side room available had no blinds and I couldn't bear daylight.

Heart murmur

“I was also told I had a heart murmur. As I had never had one before they said it was due to my illness. Eventually I was put on antiviral drips and was told the next day it was viral.

“I was in hospital for one week and I still have lasting after-effects to this day.

“I get ill very quickly and very badly. I have had pneumonia and pleurisy from a common cold, numerous chest infections, ear infections and it has left me with frequent migraines, anxiety attacks and mild memory loss.”