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Hannah G’s story

17th October 2023

Hannah from Northamptonshire contracted meningitis and septicaemia when she was 19 years old.

Hannah G's Story

“The work Meningitis Now does to support those affected and bereaved by meningitis is phenomenal”

“In April I was diagnosed with viral meningitis and, as part of my body's response, I then developed septicaemia.

“I felt so rough, disorientated, faint and nauseous. I had severe muscle pain and was unable to effectively communicate due to feeling so unwell.

“My mum and dad were the first ones to spot the rash that had appeared on my body, after being very sick all night. They called 111. My mum sent the operator a picture of my rash and they dispatched a rapid response unit which was accompanied by an ambulance. I was blue lighted to hospital and taken straight into resus where they directed me to an isolation room.

“In the ambulance I was unsure if I was going to survive. The doctors at the hospital seemed to know from the get-go that I had meningitis and was septic but they were unsure of the type of meningitis I had and how bad the sepsis was.

Fight the infection

“I was officially diagnosed three days later. After doctor intervention, my body began to fight the infection and I was cleared of the sepsis. I had a lumbar puncture and they determined I had viral meningitis.

“I remember feeling absolutely terrified. I was so scared for weeks as I didn't really know what my diagnosis meant and the uncertainty was awful. That's when I started searching the internet and I stumbled across Meningitis Now. They provided me with an explanation into exactly what illness I was fighting. It helped to clear my mind and made me feel more at ease about it all.

“After being discharged from hospital the Meningitis Now team signposted me to their Facebook support group and an online Health Unlocked site where people can answer each other's questions about meningitis. Both sites made me feel less scared and alone.

Helped immensely

“The Facebook support group helped me immensely in the early days of my recovery as it enabled me to post and see if anyone else was suffering with something similar. It made me feel like I wasn't going completely crazy.

“My recovery has been long. I suffer with communication issues now - when I get tired or stressed I can find it hard to say what I want to say, and for the most part talking is really exhausting for me. I have sought support from medical professionals, and I will recover fully, it'll just take time.

“My parents and sister were amazing - they were my rocks when I was sick especially when I know how scared they were. I think being sick has showed us all that life is short. They support me with spreading my wings and achieving what I want out of my future. It’s not always easy to do but I’m getting there, it takes time but without my family I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.

Listening ear

“The work Meningitis Now does to support those affected and bereaved by meningitis is phenomenal. Hopefully one day they will be able to find a vaccination that prevents this illness altogether. They offer a listening ear for when it all gets too much and host days for individuals and families who have been through this very unique experience to come together and support one another.

“Sometime in the future I plan to hold a fundraising event for the charity as they helped me to feel supported and not completely alone in a time where I was feeling low.”

To find out more about the online support groups mentioned in this blog please visit our peer support page.