“My Dad, John Price, was a fit, active 64-year-old who, until a couple of weeks before he died, enjoyed horse riding, sailing and running.
“His symptoms started with a stiff neck on Thursday 17th January 2013 and for the next week or so he suffered from severe flu like symptoms. He saw a GP who prescribed painkillers, as did the out of hours service.
“By Monday 28th January he was experiencing severe headaches and vomiting - both apparently possible side effects of the painkillers. He saw a second GP who sent him into hospital for a chest x-ray, suspecting a chest infection.
“While in A&E a doctor became concerned that Dad seemed confused, so asked that he be sent for a brain scan. On the way for the brain scan Dad fell into a coma from which he would never awake.
“At that point the doctors raised the possibility of meningitis.
Nothing they could do
“By the time I arrived at the hospital, Dad's pupils were not reacting to light but the hospital did not give up. Even though we knew he had gone, they explored every possible avenue but there was nothing they could do for him.
“They confirmed that he had contracted septicaemia, which had developed into meningitis - highly unusual and what they described as a ‘catastrophic combination of events’. On Wednesday 30th January they carried out a stem cell test, which gave exactly the result they and we expected.
“That afternoon, my Mum, two sisters and our husbands, along with Dad's two sisters, were with him when they switched off his life support machine. Three and a half years on I still sometimes struggle to believe that he has gone.