Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Paul's Great North Run after daughter contracts meningitis

Andy Hopkinson | 16th February 2020

A Torfaen dad is taking on this year’s Great North Run for us, after doctors twice sent his daughter home with instructions to take Calpol

Paul Great North Run after daughter contracts bacterial meningitis

It was only at a third visit that 7-year-old Seren was sent to hospital, where tests showed she had contracted bacterial meningitis. Fortunately, she went on to make a good recovery from the disease.

Now, 39-year-old Paul Edwards, from Pontypool, is running to support our lifesaving and life-changing work.

Increase awareness of symptoms

“I want to not just raise money but also share my story with others and increase awareness of this disease and how few symptoms there can be,” Paul said.

“My daughter became ill in spring 2018, but only suffered with headaches and feeling generally unwell.

“After the first visit to the doctors we were told to just keep giving her Calpol.

“A few days passed and there was no improvement. On a second visit we were told to carry on with Calpol and she will be fine.

Sought another opinion

“We knew this was not right, so we sought another opinion from a different doctor. It was this third doctor who agreed to send her to hospital.

“They started to treat her straight away but we had to wait to get the results from her lumbar puncture, which confirmed she had bacterial meningitis.

“Thankfully Seren made a full recovery and is now doing very well.” 

The Great North Run is one of the biggest half marathons in the world with over 57,000 people taking on the 13.1 mile course from Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields. It takes place on Sunday 13 September and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the event.

Join the team

Kirsty Owen-Hayward, our Events Manager, said: “Good luck to Paul as he takes on this challenge. Everyone at Meningitis Now is grateful to him for his wonderful support, which will make such a difference to those fighting back from the devastation of meningitis.”

Our charity places for this year have now all been allocated, but if you've been one of the lucky ballot winners, we'd love you to join our #TeamTangerine alongside Paul. There is no minimum fundraising pledge, and we'll be here to support you all the way. You can sign up on our Great North Run page.

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