Orlagh W’s story

21st March 2016

Clare’s daughter Orlagh, from Leeds in West Yorkshire, woke with a very high temperature and didn't seem herself

Orlagh letterbox
She wasn't reacting to her parents as normal. Her temperature didn't go down with Calpol. After calls to NHS Direct and the emergency doctor, Orlagh was sent to A and E. 

Clare takes up their story.

“I lost my daughter, Orlagh on 22nd September 2010, aged 21 months."

“She had spent five weeks fighting meningitis in intensive care, during which time I had given birth to my second little girl."

“I lay in bed an hour after I had given birth, only to be told my eldest child was expected to die the same day."

“My sister had contracted meningococcal meningitis years before, aged 18, and Orlagh’s dad had contracted viral meningitis previously."

“I believe there is evidence that susceptibility to meningitis could be genetic, and yet despite the family history I still had to pay for my two children to be vaccinated. I am very lucky that I was able to afford this. Not everyone can."

“I can't imagine how I would get through every day knowing there was a vaccine available and that my children hadn't received that protection. I urge the government to extend their programme to protect children like my little girl." 

“Steve (Dayman, Meningitis Now founder) came and visited us after we lost Orlagh, which was a great support. I made contact with other mums through the charity and, again, that has been immensely helpful.”