“Shortly after my 16th birthday, after feeling a little bit off and snoozing on and off on the sofa most of the evening, I took myself off to bed. It was a cold December evening, shortly after Christmas and I was putting some songs on my sister Liv’s new iPod. I decided an early night would probably do me good."
“Through the night I kept waking up to be sick, and due to sharing a room, my mum Rebecca suggested I sleep downstairs to avoid disturbing my sister and because it was cooler. I was sick numerous times throughout the night and looking back on it now, I must have been slipping in and out of consciousness."
Noticed a rash
“My mum came down to check on me in the morning and found I had been sick all over myself and hadn’t even noticed. So, she did as any mother would do and cleaned me up. After putting a load of washing in, she turned round to find I had been sick again and cleaning me up for a second time, noticed the rash starting on my neck."
“Without hesitation she dialled 999 and within minutes an ambulance was speeding down the street. All I remember is me being sick on the door step as I was moved, getting into the ambulance, then waking up in intensive care."
“Everything in between then is either a dream-like blur or I have no recollection of. Staff in A&E knew straight away it was meningitis so there was no need for a lumbar puncture. I was thrashing and fighting around in the bed as the bacteria took a hold. With some encouraging words from my mum I calmed down enough for my CT scan without the need to be sedated."
No obvious after-effects
“Without the doctors' and nurses’ excellent work and efficiency I wouldn’t be alive today and it could have been a very different story. I was in hospital just short of two weeks and a few months later I managed to sit my GCSEs and come out with 11, all A-C grade."
“I have no obvious after-effects. I suffer from headaches fairly frequently and tire easily. Sometimes when people say things, I struggle to hear and understand them the first time. I still have a dislike of bright lights and loud metallic noises."
“My mum also says that my personality has altered slightly. Now I can get stressed over the slightest little thing whereas previously I was always happy go lucky and laid-back."
Owe my life to my mum
“But in the grand scheme of things, these are a small price to pay. I know others who have suffered with meningitis and have had more disastrous effects or have tragically lost the fight."
“I owe my life to my mum who spotted my rash and acted so swiftly and to the staff at Huddersfield Hospital who did everything in their power to ensure I survived."
“I now have a degree in dance and have recently gone back to college and I am now a fully qualified beauty therapist."
“Meningitis Now’s social media was a great support during my recovery.”