Meningitis in your words

Michael Joel Fisher's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: 60+
  • Relationship: Child
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Michael Joel Fisher

Our Dad/Grandad

I try and think of myself as lucky, because I had my Dad in my life for forty years. He was known to most as Mick, he had a loving and caring family around him. He was a good Dad and Granddad to us and we have such wonderful memories of him that will last forever.

Life changed for us all at the beginning of October 2013.

Dad went to hospital after suffering from a continuous and very painful headache. I, my sister and our hubbies went to see him on the Tuesday. He said he was hot and his head hurt, but he seemed to know what was going on around him. He knew he had been for different tests and he knew the hospital were unsure exactly what was wrong with him. He also knew that it was Jake’s (his grandson) 18th birthday the next day and he asked me to wish him a happy birthday and said to explain that he couldn't phone him.

"Surely he would be ok though because this type of illness affects mainly children"

Tests were run over the next few days and then the true reality of what Dad was suffering from came to light. He had meningitis. Surely he would be ok though because this type of illness affects mainly children, he would be ok, we were all sure of this.

We phoned the hospital daily to check on him and he was comfortable. The week passed slowly and we were all tired and worried, but we all had hope.

Friday evening came and I remember sitting with friends talking about dad. Suddenly the phone went and we were asked to go to the hospital straight away. Dad was really poorly. It crossed our minds, whilst making the journey to Burton, that things were not as we had believed.

"Soon after this dad was put into a medical coma"

We went straight through to Dad when we arrived at the hospital; he was sitting up in his bed with a glazed look on his face. He couldn't see us even though his eyes were open, he didn't know we were there. He then became very distressed and I think we then realised our Dad as we knew him had gone.

Soon after this dad was put into a medical coma. We spent the night pacing the floor in the waiting room for news of his progress. He had scans and was put onto a breathing monitor to allow his body time to rest.

Saturday, as I remember, was a long, painful day, we were unsure if we could go and see him, so we called the hospital many times through the day.

We decided to go and see him on Sunday; we had started our journey to Burton hospital when we had a call that Dad was being transferred to Nottingham hospital. He was in a critical state and was in need of an emergency operation on his brain. So we turned our car around and headed straight to Nottingham. We met the ambulance there and we waited patiently for any news. Dad was a fighter. He was very ill but he had pulled through the operation. Again we had hope.

We visited Dad in intensive care many times. He was wired up to so many machines and he was unconscious but when we spoke it was like he could hear us. He would make small movements with his eyes or move his foot or hand. Dad was moved to another ward because he was making reasonable progress.

Time was passing us by even though to us it felt like time was standing still. I remember one evening, whilst we were visiting Dad he had his eyes open and he seemed to know we were there. He squeezed my sister’s hand several times and responded when either one of us spoke. As we left he even put his hand up as if to say bye. We still had hope.

We were now thinking that the Dad, as we knew him, had gone but he would pull through. We didn't know how he would be but it didn't matter he was our Dad/Grandad and that was all that mattered.

We visited most days and phoned several times every day. We were all tired and quite emotional around this time. Problems started to appear when the drains in Dad's head wouldn't drain properly and he started to become less responsive. We had begun to notice this but the hospital was now saying this too. Dad went into theatre many, many times and the outcome was always the same. He was now not responding. We spoke with many doctors and we soon realised that the hope we had was fading fast.

Times were hard for us all around this point and we started to prepare for the worst. We still visited and phoned but all our hope had gone. My biggest fear was that I was about to celebrate my 40th birthday and I was convinced that Dad would pass away on my birthday. I felt so sad. He actually passed away eight days after my birthday.

Dad sadly died on 11th December after nine very long weeks.

We would like to thank all the staff at Nottingham hospital for their support in helping us and Dad during this heart breaking time.

We are finding great comfort in supporting meningitis and remembering Dad/Grandad for being simply great.

Goodnight and God bless Dad/Grandad x

Michael Joel Fisher

62 years old : 11/10/1951 to 11/12/2013

Lousie Bedford
August 2014