The shock and grief that ripped through my family was unimaginable. How could a young extremely fit public services student die so quickly and suddenly? We were told that she had meningococcal septicemia and that another young man had died of the same thing in the local area a week previously.
My family is devastated by the loss of Jolene; she was such a vibrant young woman who was just starting her life. Jolene was a qualified hairdresser but had just started her public services training because she wanted to become a police officer. She loved horse riding and basically having fun. We have just had the 12th anniversary of her death but the pain is still as raw today as it was the day she died. We have just learned to live with it. Family occasions always have one missing and the impact of losing a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, cousin and friend can still be felt and seen to this day.
Jolene, I was proud to have you as my sister and I miss you every day xxx
The Meningitis Research Foundation have been a great support to us. They visited us a few weeks after Jolene died and have helped us with the befriending service and support days. As a family we raise money for the foundation through raffles, band nights, collection boxes and running marathons. We will always support the foundation, as they understand the horrific impact that meningitis in whatever form causes. People who survive and families that grieve are all supported. The foundation’s on-going research into the disease is vital in protecting our younger generations and communities as well as keeping the medical professions and GP’s up to date with new research. As a family we hope and pray for a cure or vaccination for this devastating disease to prevent others living the nightmare we have had to endure.