Rebecca was nearly 5 when she fell ill in 1987. What started with a sore throat and being sick gradually developed until she became very stiff and couldn't make her chin touch her chest. Fortunately, her mum remembered seeing one of our awareness posters at the local GP surgery, which made her question an incorrect diagnosis and helped save Rebecca’s life
That’s why, 35 years later, Rebecca, from Callerton in Newcastle Upon Tyne, has been out on her bike raising funds for us, as she explains here.
“A few days before my 5th birthday I was very poorly at home and gradually getting worse. A locum GP came to visit me and told my mum that it was just a throat infection. Implications were made that maybe she was being a bit neurotic.
“As I got worse, my mum could remember seeing information in the surgery from the Meningitis Trust (now Meningitis Now) of the symptoms of meningitis. I was matching a lot of these symptoms and so mum and dad took me to the doctor's surgery to get a second opinion.
“Thank goodness they did. The GP who saw me there realised how serious the situation was and told them to drive me straight to the hospital. There wasn't time to wait for an ambulance.
“When they got to the hospital, dad went to park the car and mum carried me down the long corridor. A lumbar puncture was performed on me and it was confirmed that I had meningitis caused by the Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria (Hib).
“Mum and dad were told how unlucky I had been as it mainly affected children under 5 and it was so close to my 5th birthday.
“Thankfully, with time, I recovered well, but, if it hadn't been for that initial information and the support the charity gave my family after diagnosis through the Helpline, it could have been a very different outcome.
“Seeing the posters helped my mum question an incorrect diagnosis and so helped save my life.
“This is why I have cycled 2080 miles this year to try and raise money for Meningitis Now to mark my 40th birthday.”
So far Rebecca has raised over £1,500 for our lifesaving and life-changing work. Support her efforts