Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Raising awareness on World Meningitis Day

Andy Hopkinson | 23rd April 2021

We’re calling on supporters to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis with friends, family and their local community for World Meningitis Day on Saturday 24 April and help #DefeatMeningitis

Meningitis Now World Meningitis Day - Holly and Lewis

To support the annual day, an initiative of the worldwide Confederation of Meningitis Organisations, we’ve launched a new video highlighting the signs and symptoms of the disease and shared this with media outlets across the country.

Our supporters Holly and Lewis, from Worcester, are also helping to spread the word by taking part in a video - available later today - telling their story.

History repeating

In the video Holly and Lewis talk about how they had already watched their son Theo battle meningitis in 2018. When his baby brother Jasper became unwell in March 2020 they couldn’t believe that history seemed to be repeating itself.

“By telling our story, raising awareness of the signs and symptoms and increasing vaccine knowledge, we can raise the profile of this devastating disease,” they said. 

“Meningitis can wreck lives and it’s vital that everybody understands how serious it can be for individuals and families. That’s why we’re supporting World Meningitis Day.”  

Fortunately both Theo, who had bacterial meningitis, and Jasper, who was diagnosed with viral meningitis, went on to make good recoveries.

So many questions

Holly added: “I couldn’t get my head around the fact that both our babies had contracted meningitis. I had so many questions, so many whys? What ifs? How could this have happened again? What did we do wrong?

“I reached out to Meningitis Now again, and shared all my concerns and all my questions, and they were great. They told me about a Facebook support group, which has been a huge help for me.

“Both boys are doing fantastic, they’re both so happy, so content and are already the best of friends, they love each other so much.

“We still can’t quite believe that in the last three years meningitis has hit our little family twice and I don’t think you can ever get over the constant worrying and panicking, but I think it’s just something you learn to live with.”

You can read the family’s full story here.

Here to help and support

Our Chief Executive, Dr Tom Nutt, said: “We know that life after meningitis is tough for many people and we want to use World Meningitis Day to help spread the word and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms and reinforce that, on World Meningitis Day, as on every other day, we are here to help and support those who need us.

“With the impact of Covid-19 leading to some people missing their immunisations and the number of meningitis cases expected to rise when people start to gather again it’s important that we keep meningitis awareness on everybody’s radar. As we transition out of Covid it really is critical that people do not become complacent about other infectious diseases, such as meningitis, which can kill in 24 hours.

“Please join us on 24 April for World Meningitis Day, take action and #DefeatMeningitis.”

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