After arriving in the intensive care unit in the Sick Kids my heart stopped another two times, and I remained on artificial ventilation and kidney dialysis as my body had been consumed by the disease and was giving up.
My family were told there was a significant chance that I would not live through the next 24 hours. The rash continued to spread, most severely down my legs, leading to the sincere possibility of amputations, if I survived.
My only real recollection of anything during this time was feeling as though someone was trying to push a brick through my chest, which I am told could have been the resuscitation efforts to return my heart beat to normal.
Unbelievably, my condition slowly began to improve and after a further week in intensive care and 3 more in other wards within the hospital I left with no signs of my battle except a missing toenail, a dodgy rib, some scars on my skin and a dislike of caramel shortbread.
Once home I went through intense physiotherapy to re-learn how to walk. This was extremely painful at the time, but nothing compared to the pain that my family could have been burdened with if my parents hadn’t been so persistent in getting me the initial medical attention followed by the incredible work by all of the nurses and doctors who were involved in my treatment.
I cannot help but feel extraordinarily lucky to have survived this life-altering and in some cases life-ending disease. Therefore myself and my family, particularly my amazing dad, have been fundraising for the last 17 years for Meningitis Research foundation and spreading awareness so that other families are vigilant to the symptoms and know to ACT FAST TO STOP THE SPREAD.
The work the charity do is outstanding and will forever be close to our hearts.