We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website For more information about the types of cookies we use, visit our Cookies policy and manage your preferences.


Jamie-Leigh's story

6th September 2015

Jamie-Leigh Rockett, now 18, of Watford, had just finished her GCSE’s when she contracted viral meningitis in June 2012

Jamie-Leigh's story

She spent weeks suffering from violent sickness, aching muscles, headaches, fever and hallucinations caused by the disease. She tells her story here.

“I had just finished my GCSE's and was ready to begin my summer when I began to have an aching feeling in my left arm. I found myself becoming extremely fatigued but I thought it was my response to the stress I’d been under from school and expected it would just fade."

I became worried

“Two weeks later, after having a friend stay over, I woke up with the most excruciating headache and neck pain I've felt in my life. I put this down to the fact I slept funny on the sofa but, when the pain hadn't gone by the next day, I started to become worried.

For the next two weeks I was violently sick and not even able to keep down water. Almost like clockwork, every 10 minutes I would be sick.

Throughout this time my mum took me to the GP three times, each time being sent away with a "bug" and told that things would improve soon.

During this time I couldn't even lay down on a pillow because of the pain in my neck and head, it felt as if fireworks were exploding in my brain.

The dehydration became so bad and my temperature so high, I began to hallucinate and within seconds my mum and stepdad bundled me into the car and rushed me to the hospital.”

I was so weak and my family were extremely worried

“Within minutes of being seen by the doctor I was admitted to AAU. I was unable to talk, stand or eat. I was so weak.

My family were really worried when my face began to swell. At this point I was put on multiple pain relief and anti-nausea medication and many tests were done.

In the end I was in AAU for two weeks. I was diagnosed with viral meningitis at the end of the first week.”

I have after-effects but it could have been a lot worse

“It was months before I was able to do normal activities for myself, like washing and dressing. Luckily, the only long-term after-effects I have suffered are short-term memory loss and slight hearing loss in my right ear.

I am aware things could have been a lot worse and I'm incredibly lucky. If only my GP had considered the possibility of viral meningitis, then I may not have been left in suffering for so long!”