Meningitis in your words

Julie Irving's story

  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Child
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Julie Irving

On the 15th March 2018 my mum travelled to Ireland with her best friend for St. Patrick’s day. They planned to stay for 6 days.

My mum had complained of a headache but brushed it off and took some pain killers.

We stayed in contact on FaceTime and by text and she seemed fine and to be enjoying herself.

On Saturday 18th she told me she had gone out but wasn’t feeling very good. She still had the headache and cold symptoms.

Sunday, she spent most of the day in bed.

Monday came around and she was trying to get a flight home. We didn’t know how bad she was at this point as she didn’t want to worry us.

Her friends called out an on call doctor. She had rigors, headache, stiff neck, she was freezing, she had sensitivity to light, she was struggling to get to the toilet by herself, she was throwing up and her whole body was aching.

The doctor said my mum had a “severe migraine” and left my mum after giving her an ant-sickness injection, sleeping tablets and naproxen. This was Monday afternoon. My mum slept most of the evening and the Tuesday morning she was due to fly home around 5am she said she wouldn’t be flying home and she needed more sleep.

"My mum was on a life support when we arrived."

At 6am she was found unconscious and taken to hospital. My dad and I booked a flight to Ireland. We received a phone call to get there quicker as she didn’t have long to live so we booked the earliest flight we could and got there around 4pm. My mum was on a life support when we arrived.

We got some hope as they were transferring my mum to a bigger hospital to try more treatment.

Around 8pm and arriving at the bigger hospital we was heartbreakingly told there was no hope. She had various bleeds on the brain and they weren’t exactly sure why. In the doctors words “he’d never seen anything like it”. We weren’t given an option, they called a time of death before my mum’s life support was turned off on the Wednesday.

We finally received answers about 4 months after my mum passed away that she had contracted bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia.

My mum was the most amazing person you could ever meet and was stolen from us by this horrible illness in such a short time. Our whole family has been left heartbroken.

Sleep tight mama x

Laura Irving
October 2018

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