Meningitis in your words

Manasseh Heeralall's story

  • Location: USA
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Other relative
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Manasseh Heeralall

December 8, 2018. A week ago today, my daughter, Grace and her husband, Manasseh-- Manny--were enjoying a weekend cruise with his parents. They were celebrating Manny's mom's birthday.

On the 2nd day, Manny complained of a headache and talked about going to see ship's doctor. He and Grace talked it over and decided that he could just take aspirin and rest. They went to bed and he fell asleep.

About 3 hours later, Grace woke up to Manny having seizures and running fever. She called the ship clinic, and it took 30-40 minutes to convince them of the seriousness of the situation. The seizures wouldn't stop, and the medicine to stop them wasn't working. My daughter-- a pharmacist-- insisted that the doctor start antibiotics in case it was meningitis. He was given a shot of Rocephrin. Grace gave permission to intubate, but for some reason the doctor never intubated Manny.

The ship, instead of calling for an air lift for Manasseh, headed back to shore. It took 2 hours. Manny was seizing non- stop. He was rushed to the Bahamas hospital where the doctors just happened to be on strike--- so there was only a resident on duty. The MRI machine was broken and the hospital wasn't equipped to handle this illness.

Without an attending physician to sign off, the resident said he couldn't send for a plane to fly Manny to West Palm Beach hospital. Grace insisted and even made calls to get a plane to come from the West Palm hospital where Manny worked as a pharmacist. By this time he had finally stopped seizing, but had suffered some major strokes.

The West Palm Hospital started IV’s of antibiotics and other medications. Manny never woke up. Even with a great team of doctors treating what they determined was bacterial meningitis and treating the resulting brain trauma and swelling, Manny's kidneys shut down and kidney dialysis was attempted, but Manny's body couldn't handle it. The strokes caused severe brain stem and frontal lobe damage.

"Our hearts are breaking ---we love you precious Manassah."

The doctors declared him brain dead and told us that he wasn't breathing on his own at all. Six days after complaining of a headache, Manny was gone. As his heartbeat faded away, the song on the radio played, “Well Done, Well Done, Good and Faithful One." So true about Manny.

One of the best men I've ever known-- so kind, and always helping people in need. He had a quiet strength. He was an incredible Christian loved God and all people. Everyone loved Manny. So many co- workers, family, and friends came to visit and pray, and just be with us at the hospital.

Our hearts are breaking ---we love you precious Manassah.

Ginny Reynolds
December 2018

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