Jonnie Peacock's mum urges the public to Be MeningitisWise
13 September 2012
The mum of paralympic gold medal sprinter Jonnie Peacock, Linda Roberts, is encouraging the public to Be MeningitisWise during Meningitis Research Foundation's (MRF) Meningitis Awareness Week (17-23 September).
Linda who was watched by millions hugging Jonnie after he won gold at the Paralympics has recently joined as a member of MRF because she believes everyone needs to be aware of the symptoms and act promptly to save lives.
She said: “Jonnie was diagnosed with Meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia at the age of five in October 1998. His three older sisters Bethany, Rebekah and Hannah had been ill with a virus so when Jonnie had a temperature I thought he had picked up the same bug. But over the weekend his condition deteriorated quickly, he was delirious and then covered in a bright red rash so I wrapped him in his duvet, bundled him in the car and rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Once they diagnosed meningococcal septicaemia we were advised to say our goodbyes as his condition was critical and he was induced into a coma to allow his body to fight the infection. After four days in hospital the doctors said he was going to survive but they weren’t sure how he would be affected physically and mentally. His brain survived but he lost his right leg below the knee and has had four further amputations since his first operation as his bones have grown. I'm supporting MRF's awareness week as everyone needs to be MeningitisWise and know the symptoms as it might just save a life!”
MRF says that meningitis and septicaemia affect around 3,600 people in the UK and Ireland annually. They are deadly diseases that can strike anyone without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs.
Meningitis Awareness Week - 17-23 September 2012.