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Hayley's story

8th January 2017

Hayley, from Saltash in Cornwall, suffered unbearable headaches and specialists discovered a defect in the base of her skull, which explains why she was prone to meningitis. She tells her story here

Hayley's story

“I'm 30 years old, 29 when I had chronic bacterial meningitis. I was in hospital from 13th May for two weeks and then was discharged, but still didn't feel well.

“I was home for about a week but the headaches were unbearable, so I went back into hospital and was then transferred to another hospital to a specialised acute neurology unit.

“The specialists discovered I have a defect in the base of my skull, which would explain why I have had a cerebro-spinal fluid leak on and off for the past seven years. I did suffer viral meningitis seven years ago too, but it was only mild and I was only in hospital for a week.

Partially deaf

“I was discharged on 30th June but I am partially deaf as a result of the disease, my balance has been affected and I get exhausted so easily. I feel very anxious and paranoid, get daily headaches and avoid social situations.

“I have to have an operation to repair the base of my skull to prevent me from getting the disease again. I take penicillin long term and I had three lumbar punctures within a month when I was in hospital - not pleasant!

“I know it's early days and people have been affected far worse than myself but this is a terrible disease and more people need to know about the effects and symptoms of it.”