Author's son inspires fundraising

11 Nov 2019
Author's son inspires fundraising

A man from Hitchin is raising money for MRF after his son was diagnosed with the disease.

Jeff Brown has written a book about his travels around the world. An Ordinary Man’s Travels in an Extraordinary World is not just a travelogue, it is also a memoir of his son Jothi’s battle with meningitis in Intensive Care. Jeff is donating 80% of the royalties from the book sales to MRF.

Nine years ago, when Jothi was only eighteen months old, he became very ill.  His parents, Jeff and Bharathi became concerned but had difficulties getting the correct diagnosis.  They had taken their baby son to the GP and hospital, then A&E.  Each time they were told that it was likely to be a virus and to bring him back if he wasn’t better in a few days. Eventually they took Jothi to A&E with a very high temperature, very cold feet and hands, and a fast heart beat, but they were sent home again.

Jeff and Bharathi trusted their instincts and they returned to the hospital in the middle of the night. Jeff says: “When we reached the hospital the doctors took one look at Jothi and all hell broke loose. There were lots of people around him, and they asked us to move out of the way so they could treat him. More staff arrived and they worked urgently to save Jothi’s life which by now was hanging by a thread. He was then transferred in an ambulance to the Evelina Children’s hospital in London.  Jothi’s condition remained life threatening as he had multi-organ failure and severe sepsis but he fought his way through the crucial period and gradually started to improve.”

Jothi had been diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and sepsis. When he came out of the hospital three weeks later, he had lost the ability to walk and could not even hold his head up. It took him several months to regain his strength and to re-learn to sit up, crawl and walk.

Initially Jothi seemed to make a remarkable recovery, but five years later his parents noticed he was limping. It turned out that the meningitis and sepsis had damaged the growth plates in his knees and ankles.  Jothi had two major surgeries that involved separately breaking both legs and placing them in a metal frame to straighten and lengthen them. Jothi is now ten years old and will need these operations on his legs and left thigh every two to three years until he stops growing.

“Meningitis is a life changer and life finisher. It moves quickly and can be difficult to detect with a devastating impact. The disease has changed our lives forever. "

Jeff says: “Meningitis is a life changer and life finisher. It moves quickly and can be difficult to detect with a devastating impact. The disease has changed our lives forever.  The leg breaking and stretching operations that Jothi has to undergo are hugely painful, and significantly limit his mobility, his ability to go to school and activities with his friends. We have adapted our house, taken large amounts of time off work and for months on end, it completely dominates our life."

“We try not to act like victims and attempt to control whatever we can – to Jothi the most important thing at this time has been that he sees his friends and they have been amazingly supportive. I wrote my book not only to describe my travels but our journey through Intensive Care and its paradox of desolation and hope. I am donating 80% of the royalties to MRF because of the valuable help they have provided to us and the work they are doing to help stop other families suffering from the vicious disease that is meningitis.”

Rob Dawson, Director of Support at MRF said, “We are sorry to hear of the after effects that Jothi is experiencing, and we’re really grateful to Jeff for helping to raise funds for MRF and for helping us to raise awareness of this life-changing disease. These vital funds raised will help to protect more people from meningitis.” 

Further information about An Ordinary Man’s Travels in an Extraordinary World is available at and the book is available to order at online bookstores.

Detailed information about the after effects of meningitis

Media contact
Holly Edwards - Communications Manager
Tel: 07875 498 047
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