Sally was a bright, fashionable teenager with everything to live for.
We as a family had a good life. We had never experienced death. Both sets of grandparents were alive and as Sally and her older sister Kate had grown up, they had been surrounded by a complete family environment. We lived in a lovely part of the country and enjoyed a good life- style. In hindsight we were all incredibly lucky.
Overnight our lives changed.
It was October half term and Sally was in Year 11 at Kenilworth School, thoroughly enjoying her time and with a very bright academic future ahead of her. She had just completed her work experience, one week at John Lewis at Solihull and one week at Parkhill Junior School, both of which were very rich experiences for Sally. She was very much looking forward to returning to school after the break and even making plans for the end of year ball!
Sally went to the gym on Friday evening - she enjoyed to keep fit and healthy. When she returned home she was aching. On the following day, Sally started with a headache and continued to feel generally unwell - her symptoms were a headache, aching limbs and a temperature but she didn't appear to be seriously ill - she ate her meals and watched TV and even helped to dismantle her old bed.
However, during the early hours of Sunday morning, Sally felt sick and said she needed to go to hospital. She walked into Warwick Hospital and spoke to the receptionist and we were seen quickly. We knew about meningitis and asked if Sally had this disease. The doctor confirmed that Sally had an infection but stated that she would need a lumbar puncture in order to determine the most suitable antibiotics.
Whilst waiting to be put on to the children's ward, Sally fell asleep and didn't wake up again. We had been in the hospital for only two hours. We were then transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary as there were no Intensive Care facilities at Warwick Hospital. Sally's family were all there just hoping she would wake up. A brain scan the following day confirmed that Sally had died and a blood test later revealed the cause as meningococcal meningitis Strain B.
The medical staff at Warwick hospital were in disbelief, they had no idea that Sally had meningitis.