Meningitis in your words

Joanne Louise Williams's story

  • Location: England
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Memory loss
Joanne Louise Williams

It all started two weeks after I had my daughter Bethan, I got pneumonia and spent a few days in hospital.

Then when she was seven weeks old I complained of a sore throat for about a week then on 11th October 2008 I woke feeling a little sick.

As the morning went on I felt more sick and felt I couldn’t look after both of my children so telephoned my husband to come home from work.  He did and I went off to bed, by then my head was getting really painful. I also started to be sick. A lot!!!

"I started to throw up blood"

I woke up on my landing so crawled back to bed; I was now very hot and the pain in my head neck arms and legs was very bad.  I then started to throw up blood and my breathing became very erratic. We called NHS Direct who advised me to go to A&E.

I was seen very quickly and then moved to resusc where it was explained to me they wanted to put a tube down for the night to give me a rest as I was getting very tired. At this point I only thought my pneumonia was back. I was transferred to the critical care unit within University Hospital North Tees.

My family were told I had a massive massive pneumonia and septicaemia throughout my system and advised them to allow a drug called Xygris which I stayed on for 90 hours.

I was on a ventilator for 11 days and stayed in critical care for two weeks.

When I woke I had lost all movement from the neck down and had to undergo a lot of physio. I was discharged from hospital on the 15th November.

I am happy to say I don’t have any lasting effects from the septicaemia, but do have a lovely scar at the side of my mouth from the ventilator which I don’t mind because it’s part of my history!! I did have memory problems for a year and can’t remember the early parts of my daughter’s life but that is all coming back now.

Joanne Louise Williams
July 2010