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Meningitis Now Young Ambassador Huw Westwood

Huw Westwood

- Community Ambassadors

Hi, my name is Huw and I live in Porthcawl, South Wales. When I was three years old my mum contracted viral meningitis.

As I was only three years old, I don't really remember that much of what happened at the time. However I was extremely upset because it was the first time that I was separated from my mum and I could not go and see my mum in hospital.

My grandparents came to help look after my brother and me so dad had more time to visit mum and to help look after her when she came home from hospital. When mum came home, I still was not allowed to hug her or be close to her, which really upset me.

It was my first year in school in the nursery class and I was very unsettled for several years in school after that, as I was afraid that I would come home one day and find my mum was back in hospital, or had died. I constantly worried that she would disappear and I wouldn't see her again.

I remember that mum wasn't very well for a long time and she could not play with me or drive or go back to work. Mum was always really tired, had terrible headaches and felt really dizzy. When I was about six or seven mum was allowed to drive again, but unfortunately lost her job as a physiotherapist because her recovery was so slow. As a family we weren't able to do very much together because my mum was not well enough.

Meningitis Now helped my mum to come to terms with losing her job and the impact that meningitis had on our family. Mum, dad, my brother Gareth and I began to become more involved with Meningitis Now. We helped out at a few events collecting money, giving out symptoms cards, releasing balloons and taking part in several sponsored walks.

When I was approached by Meningitis Now, I knew I wanted to be a Young Ambassador because I felt I wanted to help other people like my mum who had suffered from meningitis. Meningitis had a big impact on my life and that of my family and so I want to help others in the same situation.

I attend Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School and I am in year 11. In school my favourite subjects are Catering, Media Studies, English, Science and I.C.T. I have been on tour with the school orchestra to Tuscany and when I leave school I would like to work as a doctor or a chef. I spend a lot of time at home in the company of our very fat ginger cat Garfield.

I am really grateful to Meningitis Now for all they have done to help my family and I am looking forward to the challenges of being a Community Ambassador.