“My 19-year-old daughter Emily contracted viral meningitis this year in late February.
"She woke on the Monday morning with a headache, thought nothing of it and went off to college as normal.
“When she returned home she went straight to bed with no recall of the day. When I woke on Tuesday morning I found her sobbing in her room with the pain, and unable to tolerate any light. We went to the doctor, who was concerned but, as she appeared quite well, sent us home and told us to phone if she was no better. As it happens he phoned at lunchtime and as her symptoms were no better we were told to go straight to A&E.
“After a short wait we were seen. Emily was put straight on fluids and antibiotics and the word meningitis was mentioned. As a mum it's your worst nightmare; you never believe it will happen to your child.
Overwhelming feeling of helplessness
“Emily deteriorated quite quickly, she was sick and in a lot of pain. She was admitted and had a CT scan and a lumbar puncture the next day. As a mum, however old your child is, the feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. I just wanted to take the pain away. Emily was in hospital for eight days - the worst eight days of my life.
“Since having viral meningitis Emily's memory has been affected and her concentration. She gets tired very easily, which has had a massive effect on her college work. I am constantly paranoid every time she is ill; she currently has a chest infection. It makes you appreciate what you have and what you might lose or could have lost.
“I'm so proud of the way Emily has coped, never giving up and her whole outlook on life has changed. She has some wonderful travels planned and has her life mapped out. Meningitis Now has given her a focus, helping her not feel alone and getting some confidence back. We are doing some fundraising, recently doing a bucket collection, and we have a charity gig planned for August and a cake sale.
“Thank you Meningitis Now.”