Chloe H’s story

29th June 2018

Chloe, now 20, from Bradford in West Yorkshire, came close to dying and lost her ability to see, hear and walk when she contracted meningitis at 19

Chloe H

She counts herself as lucky to be alive after her mum found her semi-conscious and she was rushed to hospital. Thankfully she is making a good recovery. Chloe recounts her story here.

“On the Tuesday I flew home from Dublin I had a severe headache, I could barely move and I had no appetite at all. I thought I just had a bad headache and it would pass. I got home and went straight to bed. I remember strange things in the night, such as trying to stand up to go to the toilet and falling on the floor and being extremely warm (40 degrees my temperature was when they checked). I couldn’t open my eyes and I couldn’t hear properly.

“Well, my mum didn’t hear from me for two days because I couldn’t wake up, so she came and found me. I was semi-conscious and she rang an ambulance straight away.

Rushed to hospital

“I got rushed to hospital where they told my mum straight away that they thought I had bacterial meningitis, so they began to treat me for that. I at the time was still semi-conscious and just asleep all the time. It wasn’t until the fluid and antibiotics had started working that I came round. I was extremely confused and didn’t know where I was. I kept trying to get up and off the bed but I physically couldn’t.

“I had to go for an MRI scan to scan my brain because they told my mum they had a bed for me on intensive care in case I needed it and they might also need to put me in a coma. Later that night I started hallucinating. This might sound like nothing to anybody but all I could see was strange people, lots and lots of red and my fears, such as spiders.

Had to have a lumbar puncture

“I had to have a lumbar puncture so they could check if I really did have meningitis and it soon confirmed the type I had, which was bacterial meningococcal meningitis type B. I then got septic arthritis in my knee, resulting in me not being able to walk and needing three operations to remove the infection. My infection level was 263 and it should be below 10.

“I was just an hour approximately away from dying. I went completely blind, deaf and lost my ability to walk. I had to teach myself how to do things, such as wash myself, again. There was a lot more that happened during my two weeks in hospital but I am so lucky to be alive today and I cannot thank the BRI and my parents enough. I had to have a PICC line fitted to come home with and receive antibiotics through at home for four weeks to kill the infection in my knee.

“I struggle with my hearing now. I also am still struggling with my walking and I suffer from headaches still.

“My parents have had to adapt their life for me because of how ill I was. Meningitis has changed my life, although I have had a positive experience and haven’t lost any limbs it has affected me mentally and I am struggling a lot with my self-confidence now.”

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