We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website For more information about the types of cookies we use, visit our Cookies policy and manage your preferences.


Katie P's story

11th February 2019

It was Christmas Eve 1990 and Katie P started to feel very unwell. She quickly went downhill, but luckily her mum knew what the symptoms were because a friend’s son had recently had the disease. Katie, from Grimsby, tells her story

Katie P's story

“On Christmas Eve 1990, aged 7 years, I was at friend’s house when I started to feel unwell. I had a very bad headache, my neck was aching and can remember my eyes hurting if I looked up at the lights."

“I went home, tried to rest but couldn’t. The next thing I remember, I was being sick, a green colour, which to me was odd. I felt so weak and my temperature rose so high."

“My mum was trying her best to keep my temperature low with a cold flannel to my head. She knew instantly that it was meningitis as her friend’s son had not long had it and she remembered the symptoms and rang for an ambulance."

“The next I remember, I woke up in a hospital room with my mum and dad there and a few machines near me bleeping. I was frightened. I didn’t fully understand what was happening or how ill I was or how long I had been there for."

One of the lucky ones

“I’m very lucky to have no after-effects and had no amputations, but the recovery process was still hard and it took a while for me to smile again. I was a young girl who went from being able to walk, run, do everything… to all of sudden not being able to move or speak and having to learn how to walk and run again. It was hard, it hurt, oh my god did it hurt and I cried a lot. Still, I will always see myself as one of the lucky ones."

“I was going to be a bridesmaid the following year in August so I was determined to walk by then. This gave me the courage to just keep trying no matter how much it hurt. I was so happy the day I walked down that aisle."