“My message to anyone who has amputations would be not to give up. I’ve had a lot of challenges to overcome but learning to do something again for the first time is a huge deal.
“I have since walked three miles on my prosthetic legs and I now drive myself in an adapted car.
“It’s amazing what you cannot do without hands but also amazing what you can. Problem solving becomes an art. My fabulous wife Julie made a wrist-strap to hold a stylus that even today enables me to type, one key at a time, on the computer.
“Without using prosthetic hands I am able to feed myself using a wrist strap for cutlery. I can even hold a pint of beer.
“I have a genuinely renewed zest for life demonstrated in the many talks I have been invited to give to medical students, experienced NHS staff and to school pupils.
“For a long time I had to have my blood detoxified three times a week at dialysis in hospital as my kidneys were so badly affected, but I could have died. With the NHS’s help I survived.
“I feel in quite a positive place in my mind about the challenges I still have to overcome. Support from other people has been key. I am a lucky man.”
Understanding the true global impact of meningitis is tricky because much of the data available for each country and type of meningitis is based on estimates and the data comes from a variety of different sources. The Meningitis Progress Tracker brings together these estimates for the first time to help tell the story of meningitis globally.
Between 20-40% of people who survive meningitis or neonatal sepsis are left with impairments such as hearing loss, brain damage or amputations. Sadly the tracker shows that rates of disease and disability are highest in countries where access to services is poor.
A new support service for people affected by meningitis or septicaemia
Meningitis Research Foundation who created the tool are taking action to provide better support and aftercare to everyone affected by meningitis.
The charity will be launching a new digital support service, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, thanks to National Lottery players, which will enable people who have experienced meningitis to provide help and advice to those more recently affected through a series of videos.
Meningitis Research Foundation is also working with health experts, including the World Health Organization, to create a Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 and this will include a focus on aftercare and support for people and families affected by meningitis.