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Lizzie's story

3rd April 2023

Lizzie’s first year of life was disrupted by a meningitis diagnosis. She is now a thriving 33-year-old who will run the Hackney Half marathon for Meningitis Now in May. Lizzie and her mum Sara tell their story

Lizzie's story

“In 1990, Lizzie was nearly eight months old. We were out shopping when she began to fit quite suddenly.

“We were taken to the Whittington Hospital London and she was started on antibiotics immediately.

“A lumbar puncture confirmed that Lizzie had Hib meningitis (the vaccine wasn't available then).

Living nightmare

“At times it was like a living nightmare. As she’d had fits for quite a few hours, the doctors wanted to check Lizzie for a brain tumour, on top of the meningitis. But thankfully she was all clear.

“Lizzie responded well to treatment and we were home after two weeks. She was checked regularly and the only thing that seemed a bit slow was her speech development.

“Hearing tests showed that all she needed were grommets and after the operation, we had tens of new words every day.

Healthy young woman

Today Lizzie is a beautiful, healthy young woman.

“I contacted Meningitis Now at the time and found them very supportive.

Lizzie will run the Hackney half marathon on May 21 to raise money for Meningitis Now.

Lizzie says, “Thanks to an incredible team of people at the Whittington Hospital, I survived and wasn't left with any long-term effects.

“The photo at the top of the page is the first photo taken of me having come home out of hospital.

Lizzie's story

Very lucky

“I was very lucky. 22 people contract Meningitis every day and between 5-10% of new infections are fatal.

“On the 21st May 2023, almost exactly 33 years since I returned from hospital, I am going to run 13.1 miles around Hackney, my childhood home, and raise money for Meningitis Now.

“This is a charity with a vision for a future where no-one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.

If you would like to contribute, visit Lizzie's Just Giving page.