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Sean M's story

18th March 2015

Top dancer Sean McCarthy, 30, from Tamworth in Warwickshire, was diagnosed with flu but got progressively worse, eventually ending up in hospital

Sean M's story

He had bacterial meningitis but, after a struggle, he’s now managed to put his dancing shoes on again. He tells his story here

“I started off with a headache on the Thursday morning, which I thought must have been from my dance practice the night before. This got worse throughout the day. On the Friday I lost my appetite, but I still went to practise, thinking I’ll be fine. But I was trying to vomit even though I couldn't eat, so I headed back home.

I went to my local GP, who diagnosed it as ‘just flu’. Over the next 24 hours I got severely worse and became very weak. My fiancée took me to hospital, where they kept trying to diagnose what was wrong with me.

The headaches were incredibly painful and I have never felt anything like it. I was on a constant drip feed and other medication. Wednesday came and I had my lumbar puncture. I didn't feel anything during it as the pain in my head was worse than anything else and just took all the pain away. I remember vomiting and feeling very confused on the Wednesday night and I honestly thought I wouldn't wake up the next morning."

Nurses checking on me every day

“I eventually started to eat on the Friday and was checked out of hospital. But after that I didn't eat until the following Tuesday. I was on drip feed at home for two weeks with nurses checking on me every day.

I weighed myself two weeks after I was checked into hospital and I had lost two stones out of the original nine stones I usually weigh. Eventually I was getting better and I returned to work six weeks after being in hospital.

I competed again in a national dancing competition after eight weeks and my partner and I made the final, which neither of us ever had before! I was still half a stone off my usual weight.

Angela Cloke, Meningitis Now’s Community Ambassador in Warwickshire, was very supportive and gave me advice, which helped me and made me want to help others. I recently held a charity night of dance demonstrations, which has helped raise just over £2,700 for Meningitis Now.”