James Patrice is a presenter, Snapchat star, and one of Ireland's leading social influencers, with a social media following exceeding 120,000. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that aged 10, James contracted a life-threatening illness, which left him fighting for his life.
James remembers: “Initially I felt a little sick after dinner one evening. It was early 2000 and I remember thinking that it must have been the 'Millennium bug' that everyone was harping on about and that I’d just eaten too much chocolate as there were still some festive bits in the house. I felt a little weak and had a sick feeling in my stomach so when it was bedtime Mum told me to sleep in the bed with her and Dad.
"At first my Mum thought that perhaps I had the flu or a stomach bug, but as the hours passed my symptoms progressed into drowsiness, not wanting to talk to anyone, not wanting to eat, and just wanting to sleep. Around 6am I went into the bathroom to try to vomit, but nothing really came up. My legs were very weak, my knees were stiff and I was extremely drowsy. I then sat on the toilet and Mum noticed red dots starting to appear on my legs, and that’s when the alarm bells went off and she knew straight away that it was meningitis. Mum and Dad immediately brought me to the GP down the road and before I knew it Dad was 'burning rubber' to get me into Temple Street where I was critically ill for 48 hours and in intensive care for three days.”
James concludes: “The doctor later told me in Temple Street that if it wasn't for my Mum and her quick thinking, I may not have made it, and frankly that frightens me so much. My Mum's knowledge made me a very lucky person, but so many others aren't.