Local school supports MRF after pupil survives the disease

Local school supports MRF after pupil survives the disease

21 November 2012

Staff and pupils at Beechwood Park School, Markyate in Hertfordshire have been raising funds for MRF after discovering pupil Christopher Wilkins (12) contracted Group B strep and neonatal meningitis in 1999 when he was born 5 weeks prematurely.

His mum Nicola said: “Initially all seemed well, he was a big healthy baby but within 24 hours our little boy was whisked off to intensive care and doctors began treating him straight away with antibiotics. Christopher made steady progress and responded to treatment, but they then discovered that he had developed Hydrocephalus. He had a shunt fitted at around 6 weeks of age and came home several days after this.”

“We truly are one of the fortunate ones. Apart from having to have the shunt for life, Christopher's only lasting effects from the illness is that his right foot is weak which mildly affects his sporting abilities. He is however, a very determined young man and he leads an active life, and most people would not even notice. We are lucky and this is the result of having fantastic care at our local hospital that spotted this so very quickly".

Headmaster Patrick Atkinson said: “We asked the pupils if they would like to raise some money for charity and asked them to suggest who they would like to support. Christopher suggested we fundraise for Meningitis Research Foundation as his family have been supporting them since he survived the disease. He gave a presentation to the school about his experiences and the work of MRF and the school have held a bring and buy sale, and a book and cake stand to raise funds. “

Christopher said: “I just wanted to give something back to Meningitis Research Foundation because I know my mum and dad have been supporting the charity since I was born. I am pleased that we managed to raise around £500".

MRF Ambassador Julie Tucker visited the school on Saturday 17th November to collect the cheque on behalf of MRF and told the special assembly: “We are so grateful to Christopher and the staff and pupils at Beechwood School for supporting MRF. Meningitis and septicaemia can affect people of all ages, striking in minutes and sometimes killing in hours. We rely on donations from individuals, groups and businesses so every penny raised by the school will allow us to continue our vital research into the prevention, detection and treatment of the diseases and keep supporting those affected by them.”

Sam Williams
Media Relations Manager

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m MRF's PR Manager.

If you want to know more about this story call me on 0333 405 626251, out of office hours on 07875 498047 or email me