“The doctor visited my mother and sent her to hospital with appendicitis.
"As she left the doctor said to me 'I think you have flu, I will come and see you in the morning'. Her surgery was in the lower part of the house that we lived in.
“During the night I could see a rash on my hand. My father left the doctor a message that I had a rash, but it was only after she finished her surgery that she came up to see me. As soon as she did she was in a panic and rush, as she recognised what I had.
“I was rushed to hospital, where I stayed for eight weeks. I had so much pain in my legs, arms and hands! I had a lumbar puncture and my knees had to have fluid drained from them as they kept swelling. I was given penicillin but ended up with another rash – I was allergic to it, but it must have started to treat me.
Off work for four months
“I didn't find out what I had for quite a while. They think that I might have contracted meningitis by going to my dentist a few days prior to becoming ill, and having a crown removed, an impression taken and a temporary crown put on, which was to last just a few days! The dentist even came to visit me in hospital and brought me a box of chocolates. I was off work for four months, after which I still had to have physiotherapy.
“Since then, I have had painful knees when going up and down stairs or walking on slopes, up or down. I am 74 now, and when I see children who suffer with amputations I feel so very lucky. I’ve encouraged my granddaughter to have the vaccination to help her from getting this awful illness.”