Alice G's story

23rd July 2019

Alice Gall, from Perth in Scotland, was 41 when she contracted bacterial meningitis just before Christmas in 2017

Alice G bacterial meningitis case study

Although many people more usually associate meningitis with babies and toddlers, Alice’s story is a poignant reminder that Adults Get it Too.

“I was forty-one years old when I contracted bacterial meningitis. During the months that followed, I was desperate to hear that a full recovery was possible, but no-one could give me that guarantee. I scoured the internet for stories that might give me some hope, but these were hard to find. So here is my story."

“In December 2017, I had a cold which I just couldn’t shift. After a few days, I became feverish and I developed a splitting headache. Paracetamol did nothing to alleviate it. My headache got so bad that I couldn’t lift my head or look at lights, but I didn’t think I had meningitis because I didn’t have a rash. I became too ill to make it to the doctor’s surgery, and was taken to hospital by ambulance."

Couldn't hear properly

“On arrival at A&E I was given a lumbar puncture, intravenous antibiotics and a CT scan. The next day I was told I had bacterial meningitis. I was kept in hospital and given morphine, fluids and ten days of antibiotics.  As the days passed, the pain in my head started to subside, but I became aware that I couldn’t hear properly, and I couldn’t move my left leg and arm. An MRI scan revealed blood clots in my brain. I had been a keen runner, but now found myself using a walking stick to help me get around."

“After 12 days, I was allowed home. It was two days before Christmas, and I was still very worried that I might never make a full recovery. But on Christmas morning, I started to regain feeling in my arm and leg, and in a matter of days my mobility had returned. Within a month, my hearing started to improve too."

Profoundly thankful

“For six months, I continued taking blood thinners to tackle the blood clots in my brain. But during that time, thanks to my quick diagnosis and treatment, I made a complete recovery. It is now a year and a half since I was taken to hospital with bacterial meningitis and, to my knowledge, I suffer no long-term after-effects whatsoever."

“Although the effects of meningitis can be devastating, there is also room for hope. My experience left me profoundly thankful for my life and my health, and I am also grateful to all the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who cared for me with such skill and patience.”

Michelle and Stuart bacterial meningitis case study

Adults get it too

Everyone is at risk; however, for those over 55, there is an increased risk of meningitis, as our immune systems weaken as we get older Read more
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