Gillian's story

11th November 2014

Gillian Redman was expecting her second child when she was struck down with meningitis. Here her parents Alice and Bryan Austin describe how the disease tragically robbed them of their daughter and granddaughter

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Double tragedy

In March 2004, when our beautiful daughter Gillian was 28 weeks pregnant, she fell victim to meningitis.

Gillian had been complaining of flu like symptom and sinusitis. She visited her GP and A&E many times over a period of weeks but was sent home each time having been told antibiotics would not be good for her unborn baby. She was advised just to take paracetamol and rest.

On the evening of March 15, her last visit to her GP, it was decided she should take an antibiotic after all. But the following morning Gillian lapsed into unconsciousness and was taken to hospital. That evening, whilst in an induced coma, she gave birth to our granddaughter Grace, who survived for just 20 minutes. Then, on March 30 we sadly lost Gillian. She left behind a husband and small son Tom. Gillian was just 31 years old. 

It is now ten years since that horrendous time and we, along with all her family, have had to learn to cope with life without Gillian and our eagerly awaited Grace.