Meningitis in your words

Sarah Hayward's story

  • Location: England
  • Age: Adult 25-59
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Amputations
Sarah Hayward

I was at a fireworks display on 3rd November 2017. I got so cold I decided I wanted to go home to bed. That is the last thing I remember before waking up in my local hospital nearly 2 weeks later in ICU.

I was to learn that my 16 year old daughter had got so concerned about not being able to contact me on the 4th after she had gone to college that she arranged for my dad to come to the house and she had a tutor bring her home.

They found me hanging out of my bed in and out of consciousness and immediately called for an ambulance. It took 4 crew members to prepare me to transfer and get out to the ambulance.

"my daughter and her dad were advised to contact those who loved me to get to the hospital quick"

At hospital I was put on full life support and my heart stopped 3 times before my daughter and her dad were advised to contact those who loved me to get to the hospital quick. Thankfully I made it through the night and spent the next two weeks in an induced coma whilst the doctors tried to limit the damage caused.

My toes, legs, hands, ears, lungs and kidneys were affected. In time my lungs, kidneys, hands and ears improved but sadly on 16th December I had a bilateral below knee amputation. I have never been more distressed or cried so much.

"I am alive, against all odds."

But now 7 weeks later I am at my parent’s home, attending rehab physio twice weekly and have already been fitted for my new prosthetic legs. I collect them in 3 days!
I have many a bad day, I feel like my independence has been taken. But I have more good days. I am alive, against all odds, and I have an amazing daughter and family and friends who support me.

I see things now as a new beginning. I shall return to work as soon as I can walk again on my prosthetics and our lives will continue.

Sarah Hayward
February 2018