Paul Wadeson

Pneumococcal meningitis at 31

Pneumococcal meningitis

My story starts with a headache, a really bad one, something that I don't normally experience. I thought that it was carbon monoxide poisoning as we have a really old boiler! So in the early hours of the morning I took myself down to the car to sleep outside, yet the headache didn't go away.

So I drove to the hospital, they discharged me at 7am in the morning, the headache was still there but they were happy to let me go.

Fortunately I rang my fiancee who was at her parents about to go on her hen do. She decided to come home to check on me and found me unconscious in bed. I was rushed first to Stevenage, where they diagnosed meningitis and then moved pretty swiftly to Addenbrookes, where I was induced into a coma.

I stayed this way for three days and was in hospital for two weeks. I had pneumococcal meningitis and to this day haven't found out how I got it, but I was lucky. I was extremely fit and healthy when meningitis struck and my body was able to shut down and fight the illness. It also turns out I have rather large gaps between my meninges and this helped to contain the swelling. It did mean I had a stroke, however this has only led to some small affects to my left eye.

The initial impact was greatest on my family as I fortunately have no recollection of the events. I managed to get married five weeks after coming out of hospital. I am now working to get my fitness back and will complete the Cumbrian run in October 2011 just six months after going into hospital. I hope to do more events in the future, always raising money for Meningitis Research Foundation.