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Faye C’s story

18th January 2016

Faye, of Newcastle upon Tyne, fell ill with meningitis as a four-month-old

Faye C’s story

Although the disease has left her blind she is determined to live her life to the full. She tells her story here.

“I was just four-months-old when I came down with meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia, back in 1989. Thank heavens my mum trusted her instincts. She knew something was seriously wrong.

“My mum had to call the doctor four times.

“The first time they said it was a high temperature. The next time they said it was chicken pox or measles. The third time, when I was covered in purple blotches, mum was told if I was still like that in the morning to take me to the doctor’s surgery. The doctor also told my mum she was being neurotic.

“At the finish mum rang the doctor a fourth time and said if he didn't call an ambulance she would.

“When the ambulance got there the ambulance drivers knew straightaway what I had and asked my mum if I had been diagnosed by a doctor. She said no.

Team of doctors

“When the ambulance arrived at the hospital there was a team of about 10 doctors waiting with a drip and an incubator and I was put in a room on my own and nobody was allowed in at first, as I was in isolation.

“The disease developed very quickly and within 48 hours my poor mother was told to expect the worst. She describes it as the most terrifying time.

“I had a lumbar puncture, which confirmed the disease and, although I thankfully recovered, meningitis has left me with a range of after-effects. The bacteria spread upwards towards my brain putting extreme pressure on the back of my brain and destroying the optic nerves behind my eyes.

“This left me with very poor vision and I’m registered blind.

Range of after-effects

“I also suffered from a range of other after-effects, including deafness, neck pain, nausea and moodiness.

“I had to have an mri scan when I was 3-years-old to ensure the meningitis had been cured properly and also to check for any other brain damage in addition to that done to my optic nerves.

“I’m 27 now and live with my mum Corina, who is also my carer and official appointee, as I’m reliant on benefits at the moment.

“I recently graduated from the University of Sunderland with a degree in psychology, risk community and health, and would love to get a job in my chosen field. But given my sight problems it’s difficult with health and safety issues.

“However, I’m determined not to let the after-effects of meningitis hold me back and I make sure I lead a full and active life.”