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Mark P's story

21st January 2020

Mark Pratley battled meningitis twice – and has now thanked Meningitis Now for the support we gave to help him on his road to recovery

Mark P's story

Mark, who lives in Windsor, said calls from one of our community support officers and complementary therapy partly funded by us had been a real “game changer."

“At the time I called you I was mentally in a bad place and at a low point, I didn’t think anyone understood me,” he said.

“You can feel alone even if you are not.”

Mark first developed bacterial meningitis thirteen years ago, in 2006. He said he had “very vivid memories” of this time which included “being in my house in bed with screaming pain everywhere”. He was eventually taken to hospital and diagnosed with meningitis.

“At the time I had no idea about the disease until I experienced it,” he said. “It is very difficult to understand until you have been through it.”

It took Mark five or six years to get back to full health but a few years later, in 2018, he fell ill again while on holiday in the Czech Republic. The symptoms were similar but this time, after nine days in hospital in Prague and then another week back in a UK hospital, he was diagnosed with viral meningitis.

According to Mark, he experienced very similar side effects to when he was recovering from the bacterial version of the disease.

Meningitis Now gave me motivation...

“Pilates and yoga helped assist with recovery, physio support and acupuncture were real game changers,” he said.

“I didn’t feel like there was one thing that fixed me, it was a mixture of things.

“But a couple of calls with Meningitis Now gave me the motivation to go out and do something or try something different.

“I am a typical guy who would not have considered pilates and acupuncture – it wasn’t in my psyche – but it changed my perspective on things and, had I not, I wouldn’t have started to feel better”.

Lucie Richies, our Community Support Officer covering south and east England, said she was delighted to have been able to help Mark.

“Sometimes just a phone conversation with us can make all the difference,” she said.

“We are often the first contact for people affected by meningitis who have any real understanding of what they are going through and we are always delighted to be able to point people in the right direction to help them on their road to recovery.

“Mark’s case was an interesting one because he had battled meningitis twice, and also because we were able to help him think about ways to help his recovery that he hadn’t really thought about before.

“It’s been a real pleasure to be able to assist him and I am glad to hear he’s doing so well. I hope his story will inspire others to reach out to us and to think about some of the less obvious ways out there to help them to get better after contracting meningitis”.