“It started on 24 April 2020, which strangely enough is World Meningitis Day.
"It came on very quickly with bad head pain which l thought was a migraine. I was sick to the extent I could not get out of bed. I couldn’t walk - moving was such an effort. My son phoned 111 and told them my symptoms. He was told to give me Migraleave.
“The next day I was feeling worse, the light coming through the blind was hurting my eyes. My son phoned 111 again; this time the doctor I spoke to was concerned. She phoned an emergency ambulance to assess me. They came quickly and put me on a stretcher. I begged for more pain relief but I wasn’t allowed.
“When I reached Watford General, I was hidden under the blanket. I couldn’t walk. They took me straight in. They gave me morphine, which took the edge off the pain, and a CT scan and chest X-ray were taken. They put me straight into the Covid ward on fluids and an antibiotic drip.
Blood tests and a lumbar puncture
“The next day they told me the result of my Covid test was negative and took me to another ward in a room on my own. I joked and said, “Is this a free upgrade?”... not knowing.
“I was given blood tests and a lumbar puncture, which was conclusive of consistent Neisseria meningitis.
“I continued on a drip of antibiotics and painkillers and after a week I was sent home, in the care of hospital at home. I have suffered some memory loss, I am tired and sometimes am still dizzy.
“I am grateful for the amazing ambulance service and doctors who cared for me. I feel very blessed I have such supportive friends and family, and of course my beautiful son who saved my life.”