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Emily S's story

31st July 2015

19-year-old Teaching Assistant, Emily Styles, had her whole life ahead of her when she was suddenly struck down with meningococcal meningitis on New Year’s Eve 2013

Emily S's story

Unfortunately Emily never got the chance to live her dreams of becoming a special needs teacher, and died just hours later on New Year’s Day. 

Her heartbroken mum, Julia, recalls her story here:

“Emily Charlotte Styles, our most beautiful brown-eyed girl, fell ill suddenly on New Year’s Eve morning. She collapsed and did not regain consciousness.

She had been fit and well over Christmas. We had to make the heart-breaking decision to turn off the machines keeping her alive on New Year’s Day, 2014, just as so many people were celebrating the start of a new year.

Emily was just 19 years and nine months old when she died.”

A kind and thoughtful girl with such enthusiasm in life

“With the most wonderful enthusiasm for the little things in life, Emily loved special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, birthdays and bonfire night, to name just a few.

She also had fantastic and brave personal qualities: kindness, empathy and thoughtfulness for others, especially those who needed a friend or a kind word. She was also fiercely determined to do what she thought was right and achieve her goals, including becoming a special needs Primary School teacher.

She had been due to take up a confirmed place at Winchester University in the summer of 2014 after working for two years as a Teaching Assistant.”

Emily had so much more to give

“Emily was a fantastic and precious daughter, older sister of Sophie, granddaughter, cousin, niece, girlfriend to Ben Older and best friend to so many.

Emz had the funniest too-loud laugh that often had friends and family giggling along. You always knew how she felt - if she was angry or sad, happy or thoughtful. She was so loving, often climbing right into your lap and always giving you the most wonderful hugs - even at 19!

We have so many wonderful happy memories from the moment Emily came into the world two weeks early at the end of March 1994, but she had so much more to give and our immeasurable loss is for all that was yet to come. She would have been a brilliant teacher, wife and mummy, but sadly was denied these chances to shine.”

A lasting legacy

“As a lasting legacy to Emily, and all that she still had to give, we all tried to be a bit more like Emily.

We'd like to raise money for Meningitis Now as a tribute to her values and dreams. If there's a personal skill you have or a goal you'd like to achieve, or even if you'd like to contribute to the fund on special occasions like her birthday (31 March), these could all raise valuable funds.

Meningitis Now also organise lots of events you can be a part of. If you can't contribute with money, perhaps you could do something kind and thoughtful for someone who needs it or wasn't expecting it. It would mean so much to us to hear what you've done and to raise some money in Emily's name.

Please help us with our 'It's About Time' campaign for Emily and let’s all celebrate the qualities that Emily lived her short life by, helping Meningitis Now keep researching this terrible illness and continue supporting families like ours.

7,214 is the number of days Emily was with us in this world; we’ve already raised over £10,000 in celebration of her full and precious life.

We miss Emily so very much, the pain is immeasurable, but Emily would want us to live our lives in her memory and achieve things for ourselves and others.”

The Department of Health announced in June that the MenACWY vaccine will be offered to all 17 and 18-year-olds and all university entrants, aged 19-25 free on the NHS from August this year, to combat the rise in Men W cases in adolescents. 

Julia has campaigned alongside Meningitis Now and is urging parents to ensure teenagers are vaccinated before heading off to university.