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Claire and Gwen's story

18th May 2019

Claire Hardcastle had no idea adults could get meningitis. Then in January 2018 her 62-year-old mother Gwen fell ill

Claire and Gwen's story

Claire, from Liversedge in West Yorkshire, told us her story.

"My mum was helping me at my new house to build some wardrobes. About 1am, my dad woke me to say my mum had been sick and had a very bad pain in her head."

“We phoned 111, who phoned back and asked all normal questions like was she sensitive to light - answer no - does she have a rash – no. They didn't think it was an emergency so although an ambulance would be out, it might take five hours. Then she seemed to go to sleep, but looking at it now maybe she was going unconscious."


“A couple of hours later, my dad shouted at me to say my mum was unresponsive so we phoned the ambulance. They came straight out because my mum was unconscious but moving about a lot."

“They took her to hospital where me and my family had to wait in another room for what seemed like forever. They needed to scan her, but she was moving about too much so they put her in an induced coma then did all the tests. They confirmed what it was, and she was in a coma for about a week, then in hospital for about two weeks, then a rehabilitation home. She had to learn to eat and walk again."

Never knew it affected adults

“She is fine now she but been left with headaches, high blood pressure and anxiety problems. I never really knew what meningitis was and that it affected adults. That week I thought I had lost my world - but she pulled through. I am so grateful that she more or less made a full recovery. Today she had a bad day with anxiety, but hopefully over time this will go.”