Angela Cloke

Raising awareness of symptoms in my local community has become a very important part of my voluntary work

Angela Cloke

Community ambassador

My meningitis journey began when our youngest son, Sam, aged just 18 months became very poorly. Following an initial misdiagnosis of flu and eczema, my instinct was to seek a second opinion.  The second doctor immediately suspected meningitis and septicaemia.

Tests later confirmed meningococcal septicaemia type B. To this doctor we owe our child’s life. Sam was in hospital for 10 days and took nine months to recover. During Sam’s long and often painful recovery, Meningitis Now were a huge support to us as a family.  Sam suffered daily pain in his joints, especially his knee and ankle joints.  Other side effects included mood swings and aggression, which were often difficult to deal with.  Sam has now made a full recovery and we never lose sight of how lucky we are.

Following our experience, I wanted to do something to prevent others from going through the same experience as us. Raising awareness of symptoms in my local community has become a very important part of my voluntary work.  I regularly speak to post natal groups as well as other community groups such as WI, U3A, Lions and Soroptimists and local schools/universities.  I also worked as the patient/carer representative on the NICE Guideline for the Management of bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia in children and young people younger than 16 years in primary and secondary care.

With the support of family and friends, I also organise a number of fundraising events each year.  Events range from coffee mornings, quiz nights, fashion evenings, Christmas shopping evenings, to sponsored events such as walking on hot coals and broken glass, skydiving from 13,000ft and abseiling down the Avon Gorge. When facing these challenges I remind myself that courage is not the absence of fear, but the realisation that something else is more important.

  • Holly M

    Holly McNaughton

    Community ambassador

    Hi, I’m Holly. I first became familiar with meningitis when my mum contracted it on 14th April 2012.

  • Anne Cadden

    Anne Cadden

    Community ambassador

    In January 2001, my daughter, Helen, died from meningococcal septicaemia aged 18 while in her first year at university. A friend from Helen’s school, Richard Murphy, also died from meningitis seven weeks later at another university.

  • Lesley Leaver

    Lesley Chandler-Clare

    Community ambassador

    I lost my husband, Kevin, to meningococcal septicaemia in January 2000, just five hours after being admitted to hospital. I have been supported by Meningitis Now ever since.

  • Anne Gaston

    Anne Gaston

    Community ambassador

    My son is now 21, but when he was six months old, he was rushed to hospital with suspected meningitis. Thankfully it turned out not to be meningitis, but it made me realise how little I knew about this devastating disease