Zoe's story

9th February 2019

Zoe, from Newmarket, was a long way from home on a trip to Bali in June 2017 when she started to feel very ill. Her symptoms worsened until she ended up in hospital in a medically induced coma

Zoe W bacterial and viral meningitis case study

Following her recovery, Zoe has decided to help others by raising funds for Meningitis Now and is running the London Marathon.

“Whilst away in Bali on my gap year I started to experience very bad headaches, some swelling around the eyes and forehead and eventually vomiting. Having experienced similar headaches a few weeks prior to this at home, which then stopped, I assumed they would go away and was determined to enjoy my holiday. So, I carried on through the pain."

“However, these symptoms only got worse and eventually I was forced to stay in bed for two days. After this my friends forced me to go the doctors for my dehydration."

“Once there it became clear that whilst I was dehydrated there was a much bigger issue as I became very delirious. I was quickly moved to the hospital where, luckily, I was given a CT scan which confirmed bacterial and viral meningitis. My two friends were left dealing with an unimaginable situation with myself in a medically induced coma and where doctors couldn’t confirm that I would recover whilst my mother took an immediate flight over."

Challenges

“Thankfully, the treatment began to work, and I was out of hospital and able to fly home two and a half weeks later. Once home there were still challenges such as regaining my strength and muscles, which had been significantly reduced from my hospital stay. I still also had to deal with constant headaches for many weeks after."

“Overall I made a fast recovery and was able to start university a few months later back to my old self and ability. If my friends hadn’t forced me to the doctors the story could have been very different, and I will always be grateful for them being with me."

"Luckily I made a full recovery and so the impact is minimal on my life. However, whilst I cannot remember most of my experience these memories will remain with my friends and family and the panic that they felt."

“Since my experience I want to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis, especially among young people. This was something myself and my friends had no knowledge of previously and now I know how important receiving treatment quickly is. This is why I am running the London Marathon 2019 in aid of Meningitis Now to help support those who were not as lucky in recovery as me and to raise awareness.”

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