Tureja's story

12th November 2014

Tureja Bibi was a busy mum-of-two, who worked at a private day nursery and enjoyed going out with her friends. Then in 2006, when she was just 28, Tureja contracted bacterial meningitis

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Only symptom a severe headache

Her only symptom was a severe headache but she became very ill very quickly and was admitted to hospital.

In hospital Tureja was given a tracheostomy to help her breathe. She was transferred from her local hospital to Guy's & St Thomas Hospital in London so she could get specialist care.

Intensive care

Tureja doesn't remember much of the early days in hospital but she's since been told her sister and friend both fainted when they saw her in intensive care. After nine months in intensive care Tureja was moved back to Luton Hospital where she was still totally reliant on the care of the nurses. She still had a tracheostomy to help her breathe and struggled to communicate with the medical staff but she was determined to get better.

"So, slowly I started to get better, but I had worked so hard just to be alive for my family," she explained.

In 2007, a year after falling ill, Tureja was transferred to Northwich Park Hospital to begin her rehabilitation. As a result of meningitis she had lost the use of her legs but, with grit and determination, she learned to stand again.

She said: "I learned to read, write, speak and all of that and I started to remember my family and my children and my friends. I started to be independent, learning to cook and put the washing on with the help from staff. 

"By now I had had lots of therapy on the lower part of my body as I could not use my legs and had to use a wheelchair and learn to stand again. The first time I stood up it really hurt my leg, it was so painful I had to sit down again."

Home at last 

After many months of therapy Tureja was allowed to go home in 2008. She now uses a wheelchair but is fiercely independent, working hard to build up her strength and do the jobs she used to do before meningitis.

Now, six years after meningitis Tureja is still a busy mum, although her children help her more these days.

She said: "The only problem is I’m still in a wheelchair but I encourage myself to do what I can and be as normal as possible. I can only try my best and lead as busy a life as I can. I like reading, writing and going out to do lots of activities."

Keeping positive

Tureja found out about Meningitis Now via our website and got in touch. Since contacting us Tureja has had a home visit and has received a financial grant towards physiotherapy. Despite all she has been through Tureja remains positive and is keen to share her story to raise awareness.

"Work hard, be positive and just do the best you can," she said. "I am so pleased to be given another chance in life so I am going to try and make the most of it."