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Katie H's story

22nd June 2018

Twenty-one-year-old Katie from Edinburgh thought she’d been overdoing the celebrations when she began to feel unwell in February 2018

Katie H's story

But when the searing pain in her head got worse she knew she had to get to hospital. She recounts her experience here.

“I had a pain in my hips and joints all day, but I had just celebrated my 21st birthday and Scotland winning the rugby against England at Murrayfield, so I thought that it was just my body telling me to slow down and rest.

“I went to the doctors and the doctor couldn't identify many of my symptoms (I only had joint pain and swollen glands at this point). He told me that if anything got worse to go to the hospital in the night but made me an appointment for the hospital in the morning anyway.

Searing pain in my head

“I was uncomfortable in lots of different ways but I have a high pain tolerance. I then woke up at 4am with a searing pain in my head. I started panicking and I called 999 straight away and went in an ambulance to the hospital.

“I then developed all of the symptoms: stiff and agonised neck, rash all over my body, searing headache, really painful and stiff all up my spine.

Helped Mum cope

"Meningitis Now really helped my Mum cope. She had a really traumatic experience - worse than me because I wasn't that aware of that much which was going on, I was too unwell to really be as scared or emotional as she was. My body was so focused on getting better that I think my brain was blocking out the majority of my thoughts and feelings. She really needed somebody to turn to and a calm and informed voice to reassure her and that is what Meningitis Now provided.

“I am so lucky to be able to say that I have made a full recovery. However, I am still very emotionally scarred by the experience. I am much more paranoid about my health and still have nightmares and flashbacks about being in the pain that I was and reliving the panic.”