Shaun and his wife Sammi thought the worst was over when their baby daughter recovered from the meningitis she contracted shortly after birth – but in reality, things were about to get a lot worse
Just a week after baby Missy-Rose returned home following three weeks fighting the disease in hospital, Sammi started waking in the night, screaming in terror. According to Shaun, his wife had PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, brought on by the shock of the past few weeks.
It would be a year before she got the help she needed.
The family’s story started nearly four years ago with the birth of their second child, Missy-Rose. Shaun, from Uckfield in Sussex, said his wife had caught an infection while in labour and her waters broke early. Then two days after Missy-Rose was born, their baby fell ill.
“She had a fever but she didn’t have any spots or anything,” said Shaun “She was given a lumbar puncture – which revealed she had bacterial meningitis”.
As all parents who have been through this situation know, dealing with a baby who has been diagnosed with meningitis can be extremely distressing. Add to that the anxiety of recovering from giving birth and looking after a newborn and it was no wonder that Sammi had what her husband said was a breakdown.
“She refused to go to hospital at the time and wasn’t diagnosed until a year later,” he said.
“Then she tried to commit suicide a month before Missy-Rose’s second birthday. She tried again a year later. But she’s had help with counselling and is now back at college and doing well. Missy-Rose is also doing brilliantly, she’s absolutely fine”.
In fact, Sammi isn’t just back at college – doing a course in business and law – she’s also started a major fundraising drive for Meningitis Now.
“They’ve been asked to organise some fundraising as part of their course so a group of nine of them decided to do it for a meningitis charity,” Shaun told us.
“She’s already had a cake sale and raised £137, plus they have a darts tournament and a ballroom dancing event lined up. She’s hoping to raise £1,000 in all!”
And Sammi isn’t the only one in the family raising money for us – Shaun himself is also taking on a 5k park run to try and help bolster his wife’s total. So good luck Sammi AND Shaun – and thank you for everything you are doing to help people like yourselves who are living with the impact of meningitis.
To sponsor Sammi and Shaun please visit their fundraising pages.
If you are living with the impact of meningitis and need help or want to find out more about our support, visit our support section.