Meningitis in your words

Martyn Powsney's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: 60+
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Other
Martyn Powsney

My story is not typical of those that appear in the book of experience. My late mother used to tell me I was the youngest British baby to survive bacterial meningitis at just six months of age and whilst I have struggled to find the relative articles from medical journals to authenticate this, I have no reason to doubt her word! My lucky escape enabled me to live a perfectly normal and active life but I have always wanted to show my appreciation for all the hard work and dedication that led to my survival.

Damaged knee ligaments caused in a car accident led to two quite serious operations over the years. Ironically, it was following a minor cartilage op three years ago that I contracted a dose of septicaemia, and required two further 'wash out' ops within a few days. Apart from a this, a bit of low blood pressure and routine surgery for cartilage/hernia injuries, I have enjoyed good health and always I believed that I had no after effects from the meningitis.

"The illness all those years ago had in fact left me with arrested hydrocephalus"

This was until just eighteen months ago when a series of faints and head pains led to investigations by a neurosurgeon and he revealed that the illness all those years ago had in fact left me with arrested hydrocephalus. He said it was unlikely that this had caused the faints but suggested I be checked out for possible cardio vascular problems. Fortunately this produced no other explanation for the dizziness other than the low blood pressure.

I have always wanted to show my gratitude for all the devotion and hard work that was done on my behalf all those years ago but this latest development just reinforced my desire. As I celebrated my sixtieth birthday in December 2013, I felt that time had arrived. In between bringing up a family and running a business, time was always short but now things are different so I am doing all I can to raise funds and awareness.

A recent visit to the Discovery Day at Meningococcal Reference Unit where I met up with some of the MRF team as well and people that have been affected by meningitis and other fund raisers, underlined to me how lucky I have been and so now I am even more determined to reach my intended target of £60,000 for MRF.

Martyn Powsney
Jue 2014