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Mary and Maisie’s story

1st May 2024

Mary and Howard lost their baby granddaughter to meningitis in 2008. To honour Maisie and make a difference to lives that have been impacted by meningitis, Mary and Howard have made the decision to leave us a gift in their will. Mary is now a Community Ambassador for us and shares her story below.


“We are now safe in the knowledge that our wishes will be passed on to make a positive and lasting difference.”

“In February 2008 our granddaughter Maisie was born, a beautiful little baby.

“One morning in October she woke up and was unwell with a slight fever, so mum and dad phoned 111 and it was recommended they take her straight to hospital.

"She was in hospital for five hours but sent home at midday to be told she had a virus and just to give her some Calpol

“But later that evening she was getting worse and was very lethargic, so they phoned an ambulance and were taken to a different hospital. At about 6pm she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

“She was then transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital. But her little body could not take any more and she left us on the morning of 16 October. Just 24 hours and she was gone.

We were all numb

“It was unbelievable, and we were all numb. Coming up towards the funeral I went online to see what charities would benefit from any donations – because we were asking for donations instead of flowers. The first one that came up was Meningitis Now.

“So I affiliated myself with Meningitis Now and after about a year I phoned and asked if I could do some voluntary work, and I have been voluntary working ever since. I speak to lots of people, from banks to fostering societies to my gymnasium. I’ve been to universities, I speak to companies, I go wherever I’m sent.

“I do it all for Maisie – and for Hannah and Paul, who are Maisie's parents.

Gift in our will

"Meningitis Now has been there for our family. Everything we do now is for Maisie and to remember her. She’s still with us in spirit. We support Meningitis Now by donating on Maisie’s birthday and at Christmas when our other grandchildren get presents, but we also wanted to do something extra special in her honour.

“We went to the solicitors and we were just going to update our wills, but the solicitor said ‘You have three grandchildren, are you considering leaving them anything?’ We’ve got four grandchildren – so we included Maisie. Anything for Maisie goes straight to Meningitis Now to help everyone else affected by meningitis.

“It’s a good way to leave something because when one partner is left, they have so many things to think about and this way all the instructions are in the will.

Maisie’s name will live on

“Our legacy is there. It’s needed. Anything we can give, anything that people can give is needed. Because Meningitis Now is amazing and they help so many people who are impacted by meningitis. That’s what we are doing, we are helping through Maisie.

“It was such a simple process. We had mirror wills – I said what I had in my name, Howard said what he had in his name and it was put in the will.

“We are now safe in the knowledge that our wishes will be passed on to make a positive and lasting difference for others and that Maisie’s name will live on through that gift.

“I’d encourage others to consider doing the same.”

If you would like to find out more about creating a will and leaving a gift get in touch with us via our website.

If you have any questions or would like more information about how a gift in your Will could help support our work in the future, please contact Jo on joannew@meningitisnow.org.

Mary shared her story as part of a podcast, listen to it here.