Steve D's story

11th February 2015

When Steve Drew started suffering from an intense headache his doctor thought he was concussed after picking up a knock playing rugby. But Steve had contracted pneumococcal meningitis


"The week before Christmas I went to my GP suffering from a blinding headache and being unable to look at light. Because I play rugby, he thought it was concussion but sent me to A&E to be sure."

"Although the place was empty the doctor who saw me was very dismissive and said it was concussion, I needed to go home take some pain killers and it would clear up in a day or so. Unfortunately the symptoms got worse so I returned to A&E on Christmas Eve only to be told the same and there was little point doing a scan as it would just confirm concussion."

"By Christmas Day things were so bad I couldn't even watch my kids open their presents, and spent the whole day sleeping."

Getting worse

"My wife by then decided this wasn't concussion and called NHS direct who called an ambulance. Thankfully the paramedic who turned up recognised the symptoms and I was rushed in.

"I don't remember Christmas Day or the following three days, apparently I was conscious for some of it but not coherent. I'm so lucky, I'm back at home now, and well down the road to recovering, apart from a regular headache and pins and needles I seem to have escaped after effects.

"The nursing staff on my ward were amazing, but we have to do more to raise awareness in A&E departments to recognise the symptoms. In the week leading up to me being taken in, I had all three of my children with me. The what ifs? still keep me awake."

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