Early hours of Thursday 9th July, my headache was unbearable and I couldn't cope much longer. I asked my mum what to do and she advised me to ring 999 myself. I lied to the emergency services saying that I had taken an overdose of paracetamol.
The paramedics arrived within 10 minutes. I was weak, I couldn't dress myself, my mum had to help me and I was becoming delirious. I was taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital where I spent over two hours in the A&E department, but was sent home and advised to go to bed as all I had to worry about was swine flu.
However, once I returned home all I stayed in bed all day with my parents coming to check on me and forcing me to take the anti-viral tablets. I was so weak I soiled myself.
Finally on Friday 10th July 2009 my dad rang NHS Direct and explained the situation; they asked my parents if I could respond and I couldn't as I was lifeless. They sent an ambulance and a paramedic spotted a purple rash. I was rushed to Chesterfield Royal Hospital where I was finally diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia.
My parents waited anxiously as they were told my chances of survival were 50/50. Luckily, I have made an almost full recovery; I have a slight hearing loss in my left ear and tinnitus.
My message to everyone is that if meningitis can happen to me, then it can happen to you so make sure you are aware of the symptoms of meningitis.