Bronwyn was suffering with extreme stomach pain, violent sickness and unbearable headaches. Worried about her symptoms, she visited her GP who sent her straight to hospital. She tells her story here.
“At 17 I contracted meningococcal septicaemia. It's something you will probably only understand once you have had it. It can take just 24 hours to put you in your death bed and can be caught via close, intimate contact. People have had limbs amputated and a lot of babies have died from this disease. It's common in young adults and babies and you are more vulnerable when you immune system is extremely low.”
“I had just been in England visiting my dad and returned to South Africa when I contracted meningitis. I was in ICU and on life support for three weeks altogether. I had my stomach operated on to take out my appendix as doctors thought that could be part of the problem. I was in theatre for seven hours and had a blood transfusion, which my mother initially had said no to. But it was urgently needed and I'm thankful I had it.”
“It was nice to wake up and feel no pain in my stomach, just the pain of the operation.”
“I kept walking out of class crying after I had recovered enough to go back to school. I'm older now, so that's all in the past. But I have realised that it probably did have a major effect on my life.”
“You do forget pain over time, but I would feel for anyone who gets this disease. It's the most awful experience I have ever been through and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.”