Ben C’s story

22nd February 2022

Heather’s son Ben contracted bacterial meningitis when he was 15. Fortunately, he received medical care quickly as his condition deteriorated and he continues to recover well

Ben MS's bacterial meningitis story

Support from Meningitis Now helped during what was a traumatic experience, as Heather, from Livingston in West Lothian, tells us here.

“Ben had a runny nose for six months. We thought he had hay fever. He started to get headaches and one night his headache was so severe he struggled to sit up. Lights hurt and he vomited. He developed a temperature of 39.7 so I took him to A&E, which is a five-minute drive. By the time we arrived he had deteriorated. Within an hour he was unresponsive.

“After a number of scans and a lumbar puncture, we discovered Ben had bacterial meningitis and septicaemia. The runny nose was cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We don’t know how that occurred, but he obviously had a crack or tear in his skull for it to leak.

No rash

“Ben had no rash. He was very poorly and unable to communicate for two days. After four weeks in hospital with aggressive antibiotics he was finally allowed home just before Christmas.

“Ben has follow-up appointments but continues to recover well and is even back at school.

“Please know the symptoms and don’t wait on a rash. Timing is key with meningitis and we could have had a very different outcome had he not had medical care quickly.

“Meningitis Now provided me with some excellent support during a very traumatic period and I would recommend talking to them if you are affected in any way. They really helped me get through a guilty phase although the experience is still very raw.”

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