Paul, 27, told us his petrifying story.
“One weekend I started to have symptoms of flu. Very tired. I didn't consider calling anyone, as I just thought it was a bad cold or flu. I went to bed, shivering but boiling hot. I was fully clothed and had two duvets on me. I developed the worst headache I’ve ever had. Paracetamol and ibuprofen wouldn't touch it."
“I distinctly remember knowing I was going to die. I said to myself, "if I don't do something I will die". I got myself out of bed, dragged myself to the front room of the flat, where my girlfriend of the time was, and said "call a doctor". I then collapsed and blacked out completely."
Trying to keep me alive
“I woke up in intensive care in North Middlesex Hospital. Three days had passed. Apparently it took two ambulances to get me out of the flat because I was writhing around with extreme force. Presumably my body trying to keep me alive. The GP that came out to my flat injected me with antibiotics immediately. That probably saved me from a much more serious fate. Incidentally, the GP's daughter had had meningitis so he recognised the symptoms immediately. I was very lucky."
“I spent 3-4 weeks in intensive care, and three months recovering. Whilst in hospital, I contracted MRSA through a line in my neck, which made my recovery much longer. I lost most of my muscle mass and was very weak. They pumped me with antibiotics to kill the infection, which was bacterial meningitis."
“At the time, all my friends and work colleagues had to take orange pills in case I had passed on the meningitis to them."
One of the lucky ones
“I was one of the lucky ones - as a result of the meningitis, I am now partially deaf in my right ear. But that's it. No other issues. At the same time, my mother's friend’s son contracted meningitis, but he lived alone and was found unconscious in his bathroom. I heard he's lost limbs as a result of the meningitis. I don’t know whether it was bacterial or viral."
“What people must know about is the speed of onset. Within a matter of mere hours I went from having what I thought was a cold to being in intensive care.”