Luke Gilbertson

Meningococcal disease at 6

Meningococcal disease

I was on holiday in Menorca at the age of six when I encountered the disease. I spent two days constantly vomiting and then began to develop bruises all over my body.

My mother consulted the local doctor and he instructed her to take me to the nearest hospital as I may have only a few hours to live. I could see my mother was distraught as she carried me into the hospital and they said that I had to be given blood. Two weeks I spent in a hospital bed in which time I was unable to even get up and go to the toilet.

However, I was discharged from the Spanish island's main hospital and we went back to England.

I made a full recovery and afterwards my mum wrote into Arsenal football club. I received a bravery award which was presented to me at the Arsenal Christmas party by all the players at the time, including legends such as Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

I am eternally grateful to all of the medical staff who helped me through my ordeal, to my mother who stayed by me, and to God for sparing my life. Thank you.