We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website For more information about the types of cookies we use, visit our Cookies policy and manage your preferences.


Donna G's Story

11th June 2024

Donna, from Kings Heath in Birmingham, fell ill with meningitis aged of 2 in 1974. She suffered vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions, fits and loss of balance and today feels that she has lost 40 years of her life, as she tells us here.

Donna G's Story

“I feel I have lost 40 years of my life because I am only getting the answers that I needed those many years ago.”

“My mother had taken me to the GP and the medicine that he described did not help my symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.

“I was refusing take my feed and the pupils of my eyes went to the back of my head, and I was clutching my teeth.

“My surrogate gran, who was a nurse through the war and lived on the same road, was called by one of my older brothers. She told my mum that ‘Donna is dying and she needs to get to the hospital’. My dad wanted to take me, but they rang for an ambulance and they were there within minutes.

In hospital for months

“I was told by my mum that I was in hospital for 13 days but when I received the information from the hospital records I was in hospital for several months, with convulsions, fitting, unconsciousness, vomiting diarrhoea and balance issues.

“The hospital report says there is no doubt that I received cerebral damage, but there were no follow up from this.

“I had to learn to do everything again and battled for many years with speech, understanding, communicating and learning.

Would love to ride a bike

“I would love to ride a bike, but my balance is a real issue and I am always having falls and I have profound hearing loss in my left ear from a result of this illness.

“I feel I have lost 40 years of my life because I am only getting the answers that I needed those many years ago and I am only just achieving my learning objectives.

“My mental health has suffered and I am sick and tired of wearing a mask and not being accepted as the real me. I want to be an ambassador for meningitis and the impact it has. By telling my story I hope that it would help someone.

Know I’m not alone

“My Meningitis Now support worker contacts me on a regular basis and this allows me to know that I am not alone. The support I receive gives me a chance to keep on living.

“Meningitis has affected the entire family and I think that in some ways family members can become resentful, because they believe that our parents’ focus was more on me and now they think it is happening again.”