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Jenna's story

26th December 2015

Maureen’s best friend Jenna became ill and sadly died within two days from bacterial meningitis five years ago. There’s not a day that Maureen doesn’t miss her. She tells their story here

Jenna's story

“I had just spent 10 days road-tripping around Ireland with my best friend Jenna, so she could do some research for her PhD.

“We returned home on a Tuesday and my sister and I went home to Newcastle, where we were living at the time. Jenna lived in Sheffield.

“I spoke to Jenna briefly on Thursday, but she was busy so we were going to speak again later. On Saturday night I received a phone call from our friends, Jenna's housemates, that Jenna was unconscious in hospital and that they didn't know what it was.

“I didn't know at the time that she had been to A&E the night before too.

“I took the first train out on Sunday and later that afternoon was told, in a room full of Jenna's friends, that she was brain dead and had been since she fell unconscious in the ambulance.

On life support but already gone

“Her parents, she was an only child, were rushing over from the States and had been told already over the phone that their only child was gone. They told the hospital staff to let us know because we were all her family too.

“Jenna was on life support but was already gone. It was hard to understand that she was there but wasn't.

“The nurses were lovely, and gave us blankets and cups of tea as I and my friend Polly sat by Jenna's side throughout the night. I didn't want to leave her alone before her parents arrived. They arrived in the afternoon the next day.

“Jenna saved the lives of two people and helped three others through organ donation.

“It's been over five years but there isn't a day I don't miss her. She was my best friend, the person I shared everything with - we could almost read each other's minds.

“It helps to know she helped people as she always did when alive, but I would selfishly give anything to have her back for one more day. She didn't have a rash, and was sick for less than two days before passing away.”