It was Christmas Eve 2005. The windows of Christmas lights flickered. Most of Krakow was preparing its Christmas supper. Andrez Kuczara was in a hospital corridor, his heart tearing with despair. Behind the door to intensive care lay his 8-year-old daughter, Dominika.
Diagnosed with meningococcal C, Dominika’s temperature had increased, leading to vomiting, dislike of bright light, vacancy, a stiff neck and finally, a rash. Andrez didn’t know the signs and symptoms of the disease or the importance of seeking urgent diagnoses.
Dominika was lucky. With treatment, she experienced a complete return to health and has no ongoing issues. But the events of those days, and Andrez’s realisation of the risks, inspired him to create the Fundacja Aby zyc (‘Foundation to Live’) in 2007.
Andrez and the Foundation encourage other families to vaccinate their children against meningococcal C, to learn the signs and symptoms of meningitis and share this knowledge with others.