In November 2011 Trevor Newsome, from Leeds, was 61 when he began suffering with what he thought was a migraine. When his symptoms got worse, he was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with viral meningitis
“I had been feeling generally unwell. I had a very high temperature, a stiff neck and an aversion to bright light. I phoned my GP and due to my previous recent medical problems, he gave me a prescription for Migralieve, which I collected without needing to see him.
“The Migralieve did nothing, so a couple of hours later I contacted NHS Direct who referred me to a local out of hours centre. When I arrived, I was checked by two doctors who gave me a sealed letter and told me to go straight to A&E at Leeds General Infirmary."
“When I arrived at A&E I was seen almost immediately, despite the department being very busy. I was given morphine while I was assessed. My temperature rose to 39.7 degrees and I developed an aversion to bright light. I was transferred to St James University Hospital, where I was treated for potential bacterial and viral meningitis. A lumbar puncture was carried out, which was positive for enteroviral meningitis. I was put in an isolation ward, and remained there until I was discharged a week later. My consultant told me that I had a particularly severe strain of the virus, but he reassured me that I would get better; the proviso being that recovery could be quite lengthy."
Road to recovery
“Over the next month or so, the headaches and general tiredness gradually subsided, then in February, 2012 I saw the consultant for my second outpatient appointment. He was surprised that I was already back to work, and emphasised how seriously ill I had been. The consultant told me I may have contracted the virus from my two year old granddaughter, who had been staying with us and who had a cold and runny nose at the time. Since my illness, I have experienced a residual problem with impaired hearing in my left ear, continuous tinnitus and a reduced core body temperature. These have been checked by my GP, along with a visit to an audiologist, and I have been told that these after-effects are really just something I have to live with now.”