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Juley's story

14th November 2018

Juley, from Sheffield, contracted pneumococcal meningitis in April 2017. Only quick action by her husband saved her life

Juley's story

But the 52-year-old has been left with a range of after-effects which, combined with ongoing recovery from a brain tumour, has made her rehabilitation even more difficult and protracted. She recounts her experience here.

“I survived a brain tumour and craniotomy, only to succumb to bacterial meningitis five weeks later.

“Rapid transfer to hospital by my husband saved my life. Brutal and fast diagnosis and treatment with lumbar puncture and antibiotics left me traumatised.

“I am left with the long-term after-effects of balance issues, hyperacusis, anxiety and vertigo. It took me six months to learn to walk again. I now walk with the aid of sticks and struggle with normal life.

Feel isolated

“I can no longer work as a teacher, even though I look fairly normal. I have to rely on help. I currently have lost my driving licence so feel very isolated.

“I find it difficult to explain to people why I can't sit in environments which are noisy. I can't cope with supermarkets or shops and cafes, which insist on playing loud music. I suffer with fatigue and lose my balance easily. Even talking can make me feel poorly and weak.

“I am still recovering from the brain tumour surgery but the bacterial meningitis has made my rehabilitation so much more protracted.

In fear of illnesses

“I have lived in fear of picking up any illnesses since then.

“I found the benefits system arduous to deal with at a time when I was so ill. The forms are long and no benefit is guaranteed long term. Finances are a constant worry at a time when I should be focusing on recovery. My husband has now become my carer.

“I find it difficult to look forward to the future. It is not how I'd planned my life.”