Meningitis in your words

Ben Brown's story

  • Location: UK
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Child 6-12
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Ben Brown
We had just returned from holiday in Dorset and Ben had flu like symptoms which came on suddenly.

His temperature went up rapidly and he was sick. I called the Doctor early in the morning and he thought he had gastric trouble but suggested we took him to hospital. Ben had a purple mark above his eye and I asked what it was. No one knew. A great deal of time was wasted in the hospital before they decided to do a lumbar puncture which showed he had meningitis. They gave him antibiotics but it was 36 years ago and they really didn’t know what to do.

They told us that if he lasted 24 hours he stood a chance of recovery. After 12 hours there was no change and I asked about putting him onto a life support machine but they didn’t have one and didn’t think it would help.

"It is coming up to the 36th anniversary of Bens death and it is remembered every year in our local paper and the sadness and sorrow is no easier."

We sat with him for 2 days and he was conscious but obviously not himself. On the third day they decided to anaesthetise him to find out something (I don’t know what). After about 30 minutes I heard the monitor make the continual bleep which told me he had died.

I know that if he had the same thing now he would have survived as treatment has improved. His brother has still not learnt to live with his grief and it has affected him mentally.

It is coming upto the 36th anniversary of Bens death and it is remembered every year in our local paper and the sadness and sorrow is no easier. We just learn to live with our grief but do get some happiness when we hear that someone has beaten it. We pray that this awful disease will soon be eradicated.

Brenda Brown
August 2020
Coping with the death of someone important in your life.
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