Andy W's story

16th December 2012

Andy Whithers contracted pneumococcal meningitis in November 2003 and it turned his family's life upside down

Andy W Meningitis Story

Before meningitis Andy, now 62,  was a bar manager, working long hours but as a result of his illness he struggled to walk or even stand for any period of time and struggled to remember things. His wife Sheena was told twice that she might lose Andy and was left caring for him as well as their wheelchair bound son.

Although they were given a Home from Hospital leaflet when Andy was discharged from hospital it took Andy and Sheena five years to get in touch with Meningitis Now (the Trust) and arrange a home visit.

Providing help

Sheena said: "I 'coped' for five years. The reality of nothing changing, no more progression, hit home. I called the Trust's helpline as I was desperate. It was so good to speak to someone who understood me - I just wish I had done it sooner."

Andy adds "It was wonderful to be able to talk to someone in the comfort of our own home, who knew exactly what we were going through - it was invaluable. We were told about the other services and then we took counselling together ; giving us both a much-needed insight as to how meningitis has affected me."

Although Andy's life has been changed forever by meningitis both he and Sheena have come to terms with what has happened and are looking to the future.

  • Jamie Leigh

    Jamie-Leigh's story

    I was unable to talk, stand or eat. I was so weak

  • Charlotte Stuart

    Charlotte S's story

    It took my independence and my energy, attacked my brain, put the life I had planned on hold and so nearly took my life altogether

  • JemmaP

    Jemma's story

    I found it so important to share my story so that other people of my age starting out in life are aware that meningitis is not something that just affected children

  • Adrienne

    Adrienne's story

    I wanted to give up. I didn't want to fight through the pain. I was so scared and had never felt so unwell in my life