Meningitis in your words

Percilla Ann Marie April-Hodge's story

  • Location: USA
  • Categories: Pneumococcal
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Percilla Ann Marie April-Hodge

On July 26, 2018 my son Shaquille Hodge lost his wife Percilla Hodge to Pneumococcal Meningitis. The family traveled to South Carolina the weekend before to celebrate Percilla's uncle. He was retiring from the Navy. During the trip, Shaquille and Percilla decided to take the kids to the beach. But the morning of the beach trip Percilla had a major headache. She thought it was a migraine. So she encouraged my son Shaquille to take the kids while she rested in the hotel room. When my son returned to the room Percilla did not recognize who he was nor did she remember who she was and so Shaquille rushed her to the hospital.

I will never forget the phone call. My son was literally screaming he was so frantic. My heart instantly broke. He asked us to pick up the kids because Percilla was rushed to the emergency room. By the time we drove the 4 1/2 hours to South Carolina Percilla was in a medically induced coma. She'd been diagnosed with Pneumococcal Meningitis. She never recovered. 

My son was left with three little ones. Kayden was 7, Korey was 5, and Khalani was 3 months old. Our village of neighbors have helped us along the way. We're working together to raise awareness so this doesn't happen to anyone else. And "our" kids are growing up with the help of those in Cherokee County who've grown to love our family and our story. 

Our prayer is that they find a cure for Meningitis. But until then we are doing all we can to make people aware of the dangers of not getting vaccinated. We ask everyone we meet to join the Meningitis Movement. And as our logo so eloquently states we strive to "advocate, educate, and vaccinate."

Meningitis is a fast moving and devastating disease. But no one has to be negatively impacted. There are vaccines that protect us. And with partners like COMO hope for the future! We have to just keep working toward the cure. For those who’ve survived or are bereaved know our prayers and our action are because we know how you feel and we are fighting for you.

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