Meningitis in your words

Christine Carter's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: GAS (Group A streptococcal)
  • Age: 60+
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Amputations
Christine Carter

Over Christmas 2010 I was unwell with with flu-like symptoms, but by New Year’s Eve I was so ill that we had to call out the GP.

She didn’t pick up what was wrong, and had to return later than night when I started vomiting.

By the early hours of the morning I said to my husband John: "I just know I am dying",- and he called an ambulance.

The crew who came out had no idea what was wrong and rushed me to A&E, which was busy with casualties from New Year's parties.

I was warned I was critically ill and when our daughter Lindsey arrived at the hospital she was told that I had hours to live.

They said to her: "I'm sorry to tell you, your mum's got two hours to live, get the rest of the family in."

The septicaemia started to attack my body, affecting my blood pressure, so they had to give me a drug called noradrenaline to save me. They said I was dying and the only way was to give me the drug which had the risk of affecting my circulation. It was the drug that got my heart going and my blood pressure working properly but it took all the blood from my hands and my feet. I was in intensive care for five weeks.  

I woke up after three weeks and the doctor looked down at me and said: "You have been very, very ill. You will get better but it will take a very long time."

I was transferred to the main ward and in the April had my legs amputated below the knee.  A further four operations followed on my hands, including a skin graft, which has left me with one full finger and half a finger on my left hand.

In the June I was moved to the local hospital to complete my recovery, and it was there that I had 
prosthetic legs fitted and when I left in the August I was walking with a frame.

After being in bed so long it was so liberating to stand and sit and to be on the same level as other people.  It is slow progress but I am so lucky to have the support of my family and wonderful friends. John has had to take on all the domestic chores and I am teaching him how to cook.

I have to continue with many visits to hospital for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, the hand clinic and prosthetics.

But having come through this battle, I am now determined to do something to help, so am working with MRF to help raise awareness and money so that others do not have to go through the same ordeal. 

Christine Carter
July 2012