Meningococcal disease at 15

Meningococcal disease

I started getting the symptoms on the plane to Majorca with my boyfriend and his family. I thought it was just food poisoning because I was shivering, was freezing cold and kept being sick.

When we got to the hotel I slept two days flat out, but waking up every now and then to be sick. I couldn't eat or drink and then I started to get the rash and neck pain. Although I didn't know the symptoms of meningitis, I had heard of it but never knew what it could do.

My boyfriend's mum called a doctor; he came to my hotel room, diagnosed me with gastroenteritis and called for an ambulance. When I was outside the light was giving me the biggest headache. I told the paramedic, and I was rushed to the emergency room. The nurses had seen my rash, and realised they had to put me on antibiotics as they knew I had meningitis/septicaemia.

They took me for head scans and did five or six lumbar punctures. At this time I didn't know what was going on. I blacked out and woke up two hours later in the ICU in Palma Hospital. The translator had just told my mum back in England that I only had a couple of hours to live, so my mum tried getting the quickest flight to Palma. When she did, it was the day after, and was so happy to see me alive.

The doctors who treated me had realised they got the antibiotics into my system just in time. They told me I had to have the two-week treatment there. The Spanish health authority was superb; they called me when I got back home and asked if I was feeling OK, and called my school to inform them what had happened. (The NHS had not kept record of this).

A couple days after I had come home I went to visit my GP. He had not known what had happened, and he said they had not any information from the Spanish health authority, even though they rang the NHS up and my doctors' surgery to tell them one of their patients had been diagnosed with meningitis/septicaemia. Now my family GP doesn't want to see me, and doesn't want to help, because he thought we were 'rude' and 'overwhelming' towards him. He wouldn't help me, or send a letter to my headteacher, because I seemed fine and he didn't think I needed to be on a reduced timetable. I am not fully recovered, I have learning difficulties and my immune system isn't still back as it used to be, and with my GCSEs coming up this year, I know that I will be affected with it, and my GP won't help with it.