Meningitis in your words

Emma Dann's story

  • Location: UK
  • Categories: Unknown meningitis and septicaemia (sepsis) type
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Outcome: Full recovery
  • After effects: None
I've been told this story so many times in my youth, and only as I get older do i truely understand how lucky I am, and the impact this had on those around me.

I was a baby in the 90's, usually a happy one! I took a bit of a turn, I was lethargic and not quite myself and my mum took me to the GP. "It's Viral" they said, and turned me away with the advise to give me calpol. A couple more days passed and I didn't improve, my mum took me back to the GP. "Yes, it's Viral", turned away again.

My GodMother came to visit, a nurse, and told my mum that something wasn't right and to take me to A&E straight away. I was limp in her arms at this point. My Mum took me to Alder Hey, the greatest children's hospital.

Upon examination I was immediately removed from her arms and taken to urgent care. It was Sepsis, caused by Meningitis. I was put on multiple drips, however I was severely dehydrated a very small child (age 1), and they couldn't reach the usual veins. I had needles attached to my face and every other part of my body (I still have the scars near my eye and on my chest). The medications they gave me made me unwell, and I got Thrush. You can't tell a baby to not scratch, I gave myself multiple scratches and cuts. My parents didn't leave my side. 10 days later, and I'm a happy thriving baby, a clear contradiction to the poor child so near death upon arrival. The Doctor said he had never seen a recovery like it, I was discharged as I had made a full recovery.

In coming years I had to see a speech and hearing specialist, there was nothing wrong - I'd escaped with little to no complications. As I grew and meningitis vaccines came in to schools, I couldn't get mine with the rest of the kids, I had to go the GP as it had to be controlled. I'm now 32, 31 years post my illness. I live a full active life, I can hear, see and speak with no problems. I owe my God Mother my life. I am so grateful to those Dr's and Nurses that helped me. 

It is a scary illness - but you can recover!

Emma Dann
July 2024

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