Four months later, when I was seven months old, the health nurse visited and decided to do a random hearing test. They tried different sounds behind my back, but I wasn't reacting.
My mother was confused because she thought I was usually reacting to sounds, but it seemed like I was reacting to vibrations.
The health nurse told my mother that I should get further tests. My mother and my grandfather (Pop) took me to Hearing Australia in Ballarat.
In 2015, when I was 19 years old, I was camping at a caravan park with my parents in Warrnambool.
I became quite ill with a high fever. My parents thought I had the flu, but the sickness got worse over time, so they took me to Warrnambool Hospital.
The doctors believed that I had meningitis again, which meant I had to undergo a spinal tap. I had never felt so much pain in my life that I passed out from the gas. The drugs made me highly emotional, and I started bawling my eyes out to my sister on FaceTime, begging her to fly to Melbourne. She was living in Alice Springs at the time. I was thinking it would only take a few minutes but that’s not the case. It's a memory that I will always laugh about.
I was stuck in the hospital for a few more days. The doctors never figured out what was wrong, even though I had all the symptoms of meningitis. Unfortunately, I am at high risk of potentially getting it again in the future.
I had ruined the family holidays, as after the hospital recovery, we travelled three hours back home.
I believe it's important to share these survival stories to support others, so they don't feel alone and give awareness for people to understand that meningitis can be dangerous. We need to find better ways of treating and fighting meningitis in a safe way.
Though on the positive side, it’s not a disappointing outcome - I absolutely love being deaf because it’s shaped me into who I am today.