Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

The Beautiful Survivor: The Beauty Within Our Struggles

Andy Hopkinson | 20th December 2022

A meningitis survivor’s story is the subject of a new book

The Beautiful Survivor: The Beauty Within Our Struggles

In ‘The Beautiful Survivor: The Beauty Within Our Struggles’ Kaylie shares her life story since being rushed to hospital at the age of 7 in 1999 with meningitis.

Kaylie told us: “I felt it was time to tell everyone my story, to share my lifelong experiences since suffering with meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia at age 7, my issues with my mental health, battling with relationships and my struggle to become pregnant.”

Realising how tough life can be it was important to Kaylie to try to help those who were suffering or going through a situation similar to her.

“I want people to keep fighting, to keep moving forward with life and I hope my book will bring some light to help them do this. 

“I want to make everyone aware how meningococcal septicaemia can affect someone. 

Life is hard

“There are people who are out there and ten times worse than myself. I know life is hard and I know there are people who can never understand how hard it is. Physically, emotionally and mentally it will affect your whole life and somehow you will need to fight, be brave and always say to yourself, ‘you can do this’.“

When Kaylie became ill and was admitted to hospital a team of doctors worked around the clock to try and save her life. She slipped into a coma and when she awoke, things were never the same again.

It may be over 22 years ago, but for Kaylie, who now lives in Braintree, Essex, that night will forever be remembered as the night which changed the course of her life forever.

“I remember the girl who I was when I was 7 years old. But the girl who woke up from the hospital bed was not that girl anymore. I felt like my happy child life was taken away from me. I didn't understand what was going on, I didn't understand what happened to me and due to the fact I was so young, I didn't have the knowledge to understand.

The toughest ride

“Growing up and suffering from this condition has been the toughest ride of my life and it is still ongoing. Once the disease has passed, your life is still a battlefield.

“As I had been through so much, I continue to be strong and to get through the pain. All I wanted was to be like others in the world and not feel uncomfortable with myself; it’s how I grew up. But I became a shy girl who felt different to others. I didn’t know right from wrong or knowledge at the age I should.

“I needed to learn everything again – how to write, how to walk, how to eat, speak, qualifications and life.

“As I started to grow up, I wanted to be loved and for people to accept me for who I am. I tried so hard to have a life like others. I went to college, made friends, and felt the older I became, the easier it was. I had people my age who understood. Not everyone is going to understand my condition, but I felt like most people accepted me as I got older.

Feel hope

“Life is hard and like a circle. You never know what will come out of situations until you take the chance. Not everything is going to go the way you want it to go. My experience at a young age taught me about life and knowing what makes me happy. 

“I have seen people who has suffered like me and with even worse conditions but I look at people and I feel hope.”

The Beautiful Survivor: The Beauty Within Our Struggles’ by Kaylie Louise is available from Amazon, price £9.99 for the Kindle Edition; £14.99 in paperback and £24.99 hardcover. 

Find out more and order your copy

Kaylie would love to hear feedback from her readers and would welcome reviews. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email her at: