Meningitis in your words

Charlotte Fordham's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Headaches
Charlotte Fordham

I contracted bacterial meningitis when I was 3 months pregnant. My partner had been very unwell with flu-like symptoms a few days prior but soon got better. That evening I was having a takeaway with my partner, and felt perfectly healthy. I went to bed and woke at 5am unable to move my body except my arms, the pain was horrendous. I had to use my arm to wake my partner, unable to turn. I had such a high fever.

When my partner turned the light on I had extreme sensitivity to light. He called paramedics straight away. I was being violently sick. Paramedics took me to hospital. In that short time I am told I couldn't speak properly. I had a lumber puncture performed which confirmed bacterial meningitis. I was given antibiotics in hospital and morphine as the pain was so bad. I was in hospital for 2 weeks in the higher dependency unit. 

"I have never in my life imagined I could experience pain like I did with bacterial meningitis."

My unborn child was born 6 months later. Unaware of the damage that could be caused from my ill health in pregnancy and drugs, he came out to be healthy and 16 months today is still healthy and perfect. We were both fighters to survive this awful disease.

I have never in my life imagined I could experience pain like I did with bacterial meningitis. I was very weak and unable to do chores, cook, or attend work weeks after being discharged. I still now get sharp pains in spine and bad headaches but apart from that I'm okay. I just pray I never get this again. I was very lucky and so was my little boy.