I remember beginning to feel worse by lunchtime, and by 3pm I had developed a blinding headache, a pain like nothing I had known before - or since. My temperature shot up and I couldn't stop shaking or being sick. My neck had become so stiff that my (then) boyfriend had to hold up and support my head whilst I was sick. By this time, about two hours later, the doctor decided to call for an ambulance just as I was beginning to lose consciousness. I remember being so tired but I wasn't scared because it felt so much better to "go under" rather than battle to stay awake and endure the pain in my head and neck.
I was in a coma - relying on a respirator - for three days. The hospital discharged me after ten days and told me to rest for three weeks. However, it was actually a full year before I felt confident in my recovery and even then I still suffered from ill health. Most significantly, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2006, which I have been told is probably as a result of the illness.
My family have offered me great support throughout this time. I tried to continue my studies in Reading but I found it too hard to be so far from my family and home, especially as I felt particularly unsupported by the University. In 2005 I transferred my course to Glasgow University. I found great support there and in summer 2008 I finally graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Classics. I feel so lucky to have achieved this, especially as my parents were warned to expect the worst. Also, in my immediate recovery I suffered from memory loss, co-ordination problems and severe headaches. I feel so lucky to have made the recovery that I have, and sometimes I find it hard to accept or believe.
I became a member of the Foundation as I wanted to support a charity that matters to me. I enjoy raising money for the cause, and recently I completed a tandem skydive. I think the Foundation provides a great service and support to those affected by meningitis and septicaemia, and I am keen to offer as much help as I can, especially as I have experienced its horror first hand.