Jon E’s Story

29th January 2023

Jon was 57 when he was taken ill with a worrying array of illnesses, including bacterial meningitis. It has been four years since Jon started his long journey of recovery. He tells us his story here

Jon's bacterial meningitis story

Jon contracted meningitis in 2018 whilst living and working in India. It wasn’t until he came down with a severe earache which didn’t clear up with antibiotics that friends realised how poorly he really was.

“I was working in Mumbai, India when I contracted a severe earache, possibly from swimming in the sea in Turkey the previous week. I went to a local hospital and had the ear drained and I was given antibiotics. Within two days the pain in my ear and head was unbelievable and I had become delirious and very sick.

“My wife, who was with me at the time, phoned one of my colleagues, who she knew had parents that were doctors in India. They advised that I get taken to hospital immediately.

Cocktail of antibiotics

“I was unconscious by the time I arrived at hospital and was immediately intubated and put into ICU.

I was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, but the doctors were not certain which type, meningococcal or pneumococcal. So I was treated with a cocktail of antibiotics.

“I had also contracted pneumonia, shingles, encephalitis and suffered a small stroke. After seven days in ICU and another week in isolation I was flown back to the UK and spent another period in Frimley Park Hospital in isolation as I had contracted MRSA.

Lists for everything

“Now, four years on and after much support from various consultants and clinics, I have recovered as much as is possible. I have been left with mild cognitive impairment and short-term memory loss. My wife has to ensure my daily medication is prepared for me. I have lists for everything, and I am still clumsy if I’m tired. 

“Despite other musculoskeletal disorders and some loss of hearing and vision I feel fit and relatively well. I have not returned to work and have been lucky to have worked for a large multinational company for many years, who have ensured my financial security.

“In my role, I received an annual health check and the one I attended six months before I fell ill gave me a clean bill of health, apart from being five kilos overweight for my height. There was no other indication that I may be susceptible to a serious illness and certainly not bacterial meningitis.”

Anyone can contract meningitis including adults. Find out about the signs and symptoms of meningitis in adults.

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