Sophie W

Matt and I both want to do the best we can to beat meningitis and make our sister proud

Sophie

Young ambassador

Hi, I'm Sophie. I’m Matt's sister and I was five years old when Hannah, my baby sister died.

When Hannah first got poorly, nobody thought it was meningitis - maybe just the flu, but my mum was sure it was more serious. Hannah was in Cheltenham hospital and my mum had just dropped me and my brother off at school when she got a phone call to say that my sister was seriously ill. 

I remember my grandparents came to look after me, Matt and Emma (my little sister) and mum and dad weren't at home. I now know they were at Bristol children's hospital with Hannah. I visited her twice in Bristol. The first time I hardly recognised her, she was connected to so many tubes and wires. I made her a card. The second time was to say goodbye. These are the most vivid memories I have of those three days.  If Hannah had survived, she would have had both legs amputated and one of her arms and probably been left severely brain damaged too.

Since then my whole family and I have been connected to Meningitis Now. My mum especially was helped by a lot of people who are now like a second family to us. Matt and I both want to do the best we can to beat meningitis and make our sister proud.

I watched Matt make his speech at the House of Commons in 2012; it made me so proud to be his sister and to join him and the other Young Ambassadors in the fight against meningitis. 

I think I'm a better person out of experiencing meningitis; despite the bad times, I have enjoyed countless Five Valleys walks; London marathon supporting twice; high ropes walking and a cold morning bucket shake in Cheltenham with my awesome friend Megan! I'm also in the process of convincing my mum to let me come on an overseas track with her (she is yet to be swayed).

I wish death could've waited longer because a five year old should never have to know and witness the horrors of pneumococcal meningitis septicaemia.


  • Fiona Yelland

    Fiona Y

    Young ambassador

    Hi I’m Fiona. I had Meningitis when I was 15, on the 4th of October 2011; it was just a normal school day. However, that was about to change.

  • Kiera W

    Kiera

    Young ambassador

    Hello, my name is Kiera. Many years before I was born, my parents had their first child, Dominic. Dominic contracted meningitis B at a very young age, shortly after he won his battle with cancer.

  • Olivia Geary

    Olivia

    Young ambassador

    Hi I’m Livvy. My meningitis story begins with my nephew Jack, now aged 8. When Jack was two years old, he became extremely pale and weak after he had been unwell at a children’s party a few hours previous.

  • Young Ambassador day

    Matt W

    Young ambassador

    Hi I’m Matt. In August 2012 I became a Young Ambassador for Meningitis Now. The Young Ambassador’s role is to promote Meningitis Now to young people, and this is a huge challenge.