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Jeanette D’s story

18th July 2017

Jeanette, from Sandown in the Isle of Wight, contracted meningococcal septicaemia over 50 years ago when she was 23. It’s left her with painful knees but compared to other people who have been affected she feels lucky. Now she encourages others to take up their vaccinations. She tells her story here

Jeanette D’s story

“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.”