Meningitis in your words

Rachel Daniels's story

  • Location: UK
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis, Other bacterial meningitis and septicaemia (sepsis) type
  • Age: Teenager
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Memory loss, Scarring - skin damage, Mental health problems
RachelDaniels - Meningitis in your words
For my 17th birthday, I celebrated with a big group of friends at a university campus. Two days later, I was back and college and began feeling unwell (cold, shivery, very thirsty, headache, sensitivity to light). I went home ill which what we assumed was the flu.

I went to sleep about 3pm and woke up about 11pm very poorly, I had rashes on my arms and belly and I was struggling to walk. I had to crawl to the bathroom and experienced vomiting, diarrhoea and extreme confusion. I woke my parents up and immediately had a seizure.

I was rushed to hospital where I was put in a medically induced coma. 5 days later, I was awake but couldn't remember who any of my family were or why I was in hospital, despite being constantly reminded. I was booked in for amputation of my toes as they had gone black, but luckily they recovered.

My memory was completely destroyed for about 4 weeks and I had to learn how to walk again. I was in hospital for three months recovering, and the recovery time was slow because of my poor memory, inability to walk, and deep holes in my skin because of septicaemia.

To this day, I have many scars because of this and my memory is still not great. However I survived despite the doctors preparing my family for the likely chance I wouldn't. I feel very lucky to have survived this.

It was very scary and confusing, but the doctors were brilliant and it is absolutely beatable.

Rachel Daniels
May 2024

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