Meningitis in your words

Alice Easton's story

  • Location: Scotland
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Child 6-12
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Scarring - skin damage
Alice Easton

I have never written or really shared too much about my story but in light of Meningitis Awareness Week I thought what better time and I hope my personal story can help others recognise the signs and symptoms.

I was your typical 7 year old girl. I enjoyed school and loved playing with my friends. I am now 25 so don't have a great recollection of some events and have written most of this based on what my mum and dad told me. I had been poorly and had to stay off school. I remember lying on the couch and all I knew was that I really didn't feel well. My mum had stayed off work to be at home with me. She had noticed a visible rash and called a doctor who came round to check me. Next thing we all knew I was in the back of an ambulance, lights flashing and sirens. I was being taken to Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh. It was bacterial meningitis and Septicemia I was in intensive care and spent several weeks in hospital recovering and then at home before I could return to school. It was a horrible experience for myself and my family to go through and I have been left with scars from the septicemia. Never did we think we would be going through the whole thing again 5 years later...

"Never did we think we would be going through the whole thing again 5 years later..."

I was 12 years old. I was watching weekend TV with my mum and dad in the living room. My brother had just moved to Edinburgh to begin his university degree and was experiencing his first freshers week. A phone call from Matthew's flat mate sent worry through us all. Matthew had been vomiting all day, and it wasn't a hangover. He was sensitive to light and his friend knew something was not right. After a phone call to us my dad had decided to drive the 1 hour trip to Edinburgh to see he was ok. During his drive up the A1 we received a second phone call. His flat mate had called an ambulance and Matthew was on his way to Western General Hospital - lights flashing and sirens. 

Me and my mum met my dad and older sister at the hospital and were put in a private room awaiting for news. My family were in an all too familiar situation. Matthew had bacterial Meningitis and was fighting for his life in intensive care. My brother was 18 years old when he contracted the disease. He was fit and active and loved playing rugby and was looking forward to starting his degree. 

Myself and Matthew both received blood transfusions when in hospital and luckily we have both made full recoveries. 

Me and Matthew had various blood tests taken once he had been discharged from hospital and the results showed we both have a lower count of white blood cells than normal, meaning it can take longer for us to fight infections and our immune systems aren't as strong. 

Meningitis is now an extremely important cause to myself and my family and I have taken part in fund raising events for Meningitis Research Foundation and will continue to do so including running the Edinburgh Half Marathon 2018. 

"We all know and understand myself and Matthew were extremely lucky in our cases and that others in our situations have not been. "

The care we both received whilst in hospital from doctors and nurses was amazing and my family received fantastic support with both me and Matthew. We all know and understand myself and Matthew were extremely lucky in our cases and that others in our situations have not been. 

So I urge people to take a minute out of their day to know and understand the signs and symptoms of Meningitis and Septicaemia. It could save lives. 

Thank you for reading my story. 

Written by Alice Easton
September 2017