Tanya Buin, 21 of Manchester, found it hard to cope when she heard the shocking news that her baby sister, Danni, had contracted meningococcal septicaemia in April 2008
This was not the first time the disease had devastated her family. Both Tanya and her brother, Dylan, contracted the disease when they were children.
Luckily, all three of them are fighters. Tanya recalls their struggle against the brutal disease.
“My baby sister Danni was just like any other nine month old; a smiling, happy, little girl, so it struck us as odd when she suddenly became highly unsettled in the evening. She was shivering constantly and crying in a weak, high-pitched way."
“I remember her crying all night, non-stop, and I was woken at some point by my stepdad, telling my brothers and I that Danni was being taken to hospital after mum had found a rash on her arm.”
News that crushed my mum
“A few hours later, we got the news we had all been dreading; she had meningococcal septicaemia, just as my brother Dylan and I had contracted years ago."
“I had no idea what to think. I was only 13 or 14, and suddenly I had to acknowledge that there was a chance I might lose my sister."
“We rushed to Stepping Hill Hospital where Danni was being treated. The first thing I saw was how utterly crushed my mum looked as she cuddled Danni, who was covered in wires and still crying that awful, high-pitched cry. I didn't know what to do."
“I was in too much shock to cry myself until I left the room to call my boyfriend, to tell him what was happening. The floodgates opened then. My tiny sister could be dying and I couldn't cope.”
A family history of the disease
“Because our family already had a history of meningococcal septicaemia we had to undergo blood tests. I contracted it at three years old, and three years after that, my brother Dylan contracted it at the same age."
“I remember the numbing cream on the backs of our hands before they took blood from us, and the medicine we had to take that turned all our bodily fluids bright red, to protect us from contracting the infection."
“Luckily, Danni responded very well to her treatment and was soon allowed home. To this day I'm unsure how three out of mum's four children contracted the same disease and made it out alive.”
A small price to pay
“Danni, now eight years old, often has sniffles and colds, and I wonder whether her immune system was affected by meningitis, but it's a small price to pay for her still being here with us today."
“I wouldn't have known about the Bexsero vaccination without Meningitis Now. I will be making an appointment for my son to have it as soon as it becomes available.”