Meningitis in your words

Ellie Mae Mellor's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Child
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Amputations
Ellie Mae Mellor

It was just 3 days before Ellie Mae's 1st birthday. She had been up all night with a temperature and was very restless. I called the emergency doctors but they wouldn't send anyone out. 

At 7.40am I noticed what looked like a small bruise on her forehead. I was quite concerned as I had been with her all night and I knew she had not banged herself. 

I called NHS Direct; they sent an ambulance straight away. Within minutes we were at our local A&E department. The most amazing group of doctors and nurses were waiting to treat her. 

After a few long hours she was transferred to PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit). She was so critical that it took another few hours before we could see her. The consultants took us to one side and explained that she had meningococcal septicaemia and that she was unlikely to last the night. 

"They called in a priest to baptise her and read her last rites. We didn't want that, while she wasn't giving up, neither were we",- says Ellie's mother.

Ellie Mae was on dialysis as her kidneys failed, and also life support as she was transferred to another hospital for life saving operations. 

Ellie Mae survived this awful disease but not without cost. She has had 76 operations, lost both of her legs, her left arm, her bottom, the septum of her nose and part of her left ear; she also had to have a colostomy bag fitted. She has been skin grafted on every part of her body apart from a small space on her tummy. Her growth plates are deformed and she has no hip movement; her legs haven't grown since her illness. She is unable to sit down and so is constantly weight bearing through her legs, which puts immense pressure on her pelvis and her spine.

It has now been nearly 8 years since her illness and Ellie Mae is our shining light. She always has a smile on her face and constantly leaves us in awe at her bravery and courage. She was meant to survive this illness and to do great good in this world; to show people no matter how hard life gets, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

You can read more about Ellie Mae on her website

You can help fund equipment that Ellie Mae needs here 

Kelley Mellor
February 2015