Meningitis in your words

Amy's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Young Adult 20-25
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Amputations

On 13 January 2011 I was admitted to hospital with meningococcal septicaemia.

A few days prior to this I hadn't felt very well, I thought I had the flu. I went to bed early on 12 January as I felt so poorly, every part of my body ached but I didn't know this was a symptom of meningitis. I woke at about midnight and I remember being very confused and started walking into the lounge and then collapsed. When I woke up I screamed for my dad who helped me up. My mum decided to sleep on the sofa with me and take me to the doctors in the morning.

At around 5am I was slipping in and out of consciousness. Luckily my mum checked on me and immediately phoned an ambulance. The paramedics arrived and my dad said to him I think she's got meningitis, he rolled his eyes until he saw me and began injecting me with antibiotics. I remember looking at my dad and realising this is serious, he looked so worried and I thought this must be serious if my dad is worrying.

I was rushed to hospital and put into an induced coma for two weeks, before being put into the coma my mum, dad and two sisters came and saw me to say goodbye, I remember being so scared and asking my dad: "Am I going to die?"

Whilst in the coma my family stayed in the hospital with me, watched my arms and legs turn black and could only sit and wait to see what the outcome was.

When I was woken from the coma I remember being so scared and not being able to talk. I had no idea what had gone on but was so lucky to have my amazing family around me. I stayed in intensive care for a further week, where I was then moved to a general ward.

I had to learn to walk again and use my arms again, I was so weak. The pain that I endured in hospital with my hands and feet was unbearable. After eight weeks in this ward I was then moved to the Ted Bradley Rehabilitation Unit for intense physio, to learn to walk again and to build up my strength. I spent six weeks there and finally was allowed to go home. I had severely infected feet that had to be bandaged up everyday and weekly visits to the hospital where they removed parts of my feet. Up until August 2012 I underwent many operations where I lost six toes and my heel. 

"I was in constant pain with five different infections in my feet and used a mixture of a wheelchair and crutches", - says Amy.

On 13 August I had my left leg amputated from below the knee. I remember waking from the operation and thinking thank god that pain has gone. Since the amputation, I have undergone three more operations due to complications with the surgery and still currently remain in a wheelchair. I'm now waiting to find out if another operation and more time will be spent in my wheelchair. 

Meningitis Research Foundation have been a fantastic help and are constantly there for me and have supported me the whole way through this.

But there is no doubt I could not have got through this without my amazing family and boyfriend. They have kept a smile on my face the whole way through this journey and I can't thank them enough.

Written by: Amy Davis
June 2013


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