Meningitis in your words

Melvina B Hillier's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Husband
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Memory loss
Melvina B Hillier

That night Melvina took sick with a headache and stomach sick. The following day I had to bring her home again.

The following Saturday I finally talked her in to going to the hospital and was seen by a nurse. She called the doctor on duty and was told to give a couple of needles and send her home, that she only had a migraine.

"The doctor told her she had a migraine and sent her home again"

On Monday we went to see her family doctor and was seen by a fill in doctor. He told her she had a migraine and sent her home again. On Wednesday I took her back to emergency where they kept her for about eight hours until her headache wasn't as bad as before, and sent her home. At about 8pm that night her headache got worse.

The following Friday I took her to another hospital where they did a test on her and told me it was better to treat her for something she didn’t have than not treat her for something she did have, so they treated her for TB.

After six days they couldn't give me any news as what was causing her headaches, so they airlifted her to another hospital. They did some tests and another four days went by and they told me she had TB meningitis. They put a tube in her brain to drain off fluids and a few days later they put in a shunt.

Now she’s left with short term memory loss and has to use a walker to get around. Now three years later it’s started to take a toll on me, I haven't been able to go to work cause I gotta look after her for 16 hours a day. Now it’s started to affect me financially.

John Hillier
February 2011