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Victoria D's story

5th May 2017

Thirty-year-old flight attendant Victoria, from Ilchester in Somerset, was struck down with viral meningitis last September. She is on the road to recovery but eight months on has not been able to return to her work as an air hostess. She recounts her experience here

Victoria D's story

“I became progressively worse over three days, with a severe headache, photophobia, sound sensitivity, lethargy and vomiting.

“I saw a nurse practitioner, who sent me home with some advice. Within three hours my husband Ben had taken me to A and E. The doctor there recognised meningitis, so I was admitted and a spinal tap done. The result for bacterial meningitis came back clear so, due to pressure for beds, I was discharged after two nights with no known cause and still on morphine.

Readmitted via ambulance

“After two days I was readmitted via ambulance. An MRI came back clear but the last of my lumbar puncture results then confirmed viral meningitis. I spent a further three days in hospital before coming home. After three months I was still having daily headaches, was signed off work and couldn’t have sole care of my two small children, Oliver, 3, and Samuel, 1, for more than a few hours.

Road to recovery

“Now I feel I am on the road to recovery but I still suffer daily headaches, memory loss and light sensitivity. Meningitis has fundamentally changed the person I am and the decisions I make. I never expected the impact meningitis would have on my life. Each day I recover a little more and I hoped to regain my life again.

“Unfortunately I have been unable to return to work as an air hostess but eight months on I do finally feel like I have some control back over my life. Meningitis has forced me to change career paths, which in the end is a positive. The more awareness there is of viral meningitis the better!

“For me, I would simply stress to trust your instincts and listen to your family. The hospital missed my diagnosis and discharged me after my initial stay - two days later and thanks to a great GP I was readmitted via ambulance. The level of knowledge about viral meningitis in the health profession is shocking and the only information I have had on my recovery has come from Meningitis Now.”

Victoria D viral meningitis case study