A man who survived meningitis when he was a teenager is set to run the toughest footrace on the planet to raise funds for Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).
39 year old Stuart Wells from Westerham, Kent, is running the Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Dessert, starting on Friday 6 April.
Stuart explained, “I want to raise money for this cause because I know how deadly this disease can be. I was a first year student at Loughborough University in 1997 when I became seriously unwell. I’d been to visit my girlfriend Jo - now my wife - who was studying at the University of Southampton. Southampton had a mini outbreak of meningitis which was all over the news.
“Two days later, back at Loughborough, I woke up in my dorm at about 3am feeling awful. I had a really stiff neck and I was shivering cold even with loads of layers on. I got out of bed and walked to the medical centre on campus. I saw a nurse who gave me the once over and sent me back to bed.
Luckily, I then made a decision that saved my life. I left my door open so my friends next door could see I was unwell when they woke up.
“By morning I was being sick, felt very dizzy and I must have been semi unconscious. One of my best friends, Charlie, came to get me for breakfast and lectures. Charlie saw I was really unwell and pretty much carried me back to the medical centre.
“As soon as I got there the doctor gave me a shot of penicillin and then sent me off in an ambulance to Leicester Royal Infirmary. I was taken into intensive care and my parents were called to come up from Kent.