Billy Mansfield, who’s coming up to 2, and his mum Charleine, 31, from St Luke’s Estate, London walked to the Whittington Hospital and then on to Great Ormond Street last Sunday – a distance of about eight miles – with 20 friends and relatives, to raise awareness and funds for our work. Billy was treated for his meningitis at both hospitals.
“I was inspired to do this walk because Billy’s meningitis experience was so scary,” Charleine said.
“I don’t want any parents to go through what I went through. I want them to know the symptoms. That’s why I was raising awareness about the charity and handing out leaflets.”
Billy contracted viral meningitis at just six days old in October 2014. He had a high temperature, was very floppy and cried a lot. It was a worrying time, but thankfully Billy has recovered well.
“He was so lifeless and there was not one thing that I as a mum could do to take this all away,” Charleine added.
“I feared for his life – it was like someone had ripped me apart. My boy had tubes all over him; the not knowing what was going to be the outcome was so hard. To be told your child has meningitis is something as a mum you don't want to believe.
“Billy is coming up to 2 now and doing well, but it will always be with us. We are taking life one day at a time and just hoping there are no long-term problems.”
Leah Wynn, Community Fundraiser at Meningitis Now, said: “Thank you so much to Charleine, Billy, especially, and everyone else who joined the walk – we’re really grateful for your support.”