Meningitis in your words

Sally Glendining's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Teenager
  • Relationship: Child
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Sally Glendining

Anne Glendinning is a member of MRF. Along with her daughter, Laura, she is a trained MRF befriender, helping others similarly affected by meningitis. 

Here Anne talks about the loss of her other daughter, Sally, to Group B meningococcal meningitis in January 2011.

Sally, or Sal as she liked to be called, was a beautiful young lady. A mind of her own Sal had a happy upbringing and was never a one to complain when she was poorly, which she never often was. She was a bright bubbly girl and at the age of 17 enjoying life to the full. Sal could walk into a room and make the sun shine - the life and soul of every party.

Just before Christmas 2010 Sally was suffering from a bad cold and didn't go into her Saturday job at Dorothy Perkins as she had a sore throat and stuffy nose. She was still on holiday from sixth form and after a New Year’s evening out with me and her dad she was feeling much better and returned to school and work after the New Year.

Sal worked in the shop on the Tuesday and then on Wednesday, the 4th January, was back in sixth form for a half day. It was to be the final time Sal went to school. 

On the Wednesday evening she said she had an awful sore throat and bad head and she had had a very sharp pain in her eye. She was still in good spirits and on her laptop with her friend laughing and joking.

At 10.30 that same evening Sally's sister Laura woke me saying sally was really very unwell and upset. Sally had a high temperature and was shaking severely and being sick so I rang the out of hours GP and was told to take her there at 12.50 after giving her more paracetamol.

Sally's mother tells: "When we arrived Sally was much brighter again and was checked over by the doctor who said to take her home and keep treating her as we had because she had flu. He said a day in bed the next day would be the best treatment."

All day Thursday Sally just wanted to sleep so her dad kept calling in to check on her. At 6.15 Laura and I went up to see Sally as we had been at work, she was in a terrible state being sick crying saying her head was sore. I called our own gp immediately as I was very concerned. The doctor said they had had hundreds of call that day with the same symptoms and he would leave a script at the chemist but he doubted antibiotics would be of any help.

Around 8.30pm Sally screamed for us and we ran up to find her delirious thrashing about and unable to communicate properly with us. She was rushed to hospital and from that moment it was touch and go. She had a CT scan and was put into an induced coma with tubes everywhere.

That was the longest night of our lives and we were being told to prepare for the worst. Sally was pronounced brain dead at 2pm on Friday 7th January 2011. 

We miss her dearly x

Anne Glendinning
November 2016