Meningitis in your words

Scotty Barbieri's story

  • Location: USA
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Teenager
  • Relationship: Child
  • Outcome: Bereavement
Scotty Barbieri

On June 8, 2011 at 7.30am Scotty came upstairs and said: "Mom will you take my temperature."

101 degrees. I immediately went to the store for fever medicine. 

When I came back Scotty was sleeping on my bedroom floor. The first sign something was wrong. He would have crawled on top of my bed to talk to me. He hadn't moved. I gave him the medicine and he still stayed there on the floor sleeping. 

He got up an hour later and said he had to go into work for a meeting. He was the general manager at Krispy Kreme. 

I told him: "You can't go into work you are sick."

He came back two hours later as white as a ghost. We took his temperature again. 101. I was watching him die and didn't even know it. 

The symptoms were fever, fatigue, vomiting (clear at first), and diarrhoea. I called my sister who is a nurse and she said it is probably the flu. By 3pm he was throwing up bile, then red patches appeared on his forehead and neck. Then he couldn't see (he wears glasses), then he was listless. 

I took him to our regular doctor, still not knowing what was wrong. Scotty could hardly walk into the doctor's office without my help. He coded by the time they wheeled him back to the office. 

The doctor started yelling at me: "Why didn't you take him to the ER?" I didn't know.

Doctor said he had tons of sores in his mouth. Scotty never complained of a sore throat or anything in his mouth bothering him. 

He had a seizure, his eyes went back, his lips turned yellow. Paramedics were called and within five minutes he was in an ambulance going to the hospital. They tried to stabilise him at the ER. They couldn't. They worked on him for four hours. They put him into a coma.

I went to him to say goodbye his blue eyes looking at me with trepidation and confusion. He was bleeding out all over his body. He was dead at 8.59 pm. 

I loved him so much. The hole in my heart is bigger than the universe. I loved him so much.

He did not have a vaccine, Blue Cross Netvalue did not require it. I didn't know.

Debbie Barbieri
October 2011