I remember the doctor arriving whilst I was lying on the sofa, he examined me and asked questions to test my consciousness. I could not give him the correct answer to the questions he asked, the answers were all mixed up. I remember the concerned face of the doctor and him being on the phone for an ambulance. At this point I remember opening my eyes to the bright sun whilst being carried down steps. I tried to speak as I woke briefly, in the ambulance that shook me all over the place.
The next thing I remember was three or four people standing over me with blue gowns on, but I could not stay awake. After a day in a coma, I woke up in a hospital room. The nurse came to speak to me and said my Dad was waiting outside, to which I said something like “you can’t tell him I’m sick, he would be so disappointed”. I spent two weeks in hospital, with no Spanish language, recovering and eating food from Marks and Spencer’s that my Dad snuck in. My Dad cared for me in my hospital room, washing my hair and trying to entertain me.
We waited daily for the doctor to give us the all clear to fly home. The headaches in hospital, and for months after, were unbearable. Arriving home, an emotional reunion with my Mum certainly brought home how serious the whole situation had been. She had a lot of support at home and a supportive visit from MRF a few days after I came back. It was then I only released how lucky I was, considering the fatality of some.
Despite advice I started university in Dublin that October; the first few months were tough with tiredness and headaches. It was only some years after that I was in a position to contact the Foundation to offer some sort of volunteering – so far, information leaflet placement, helping with supplies and fundraising on my 30th birthday. Only a little help but something to go towards support as I feel very lucky to have survived meningitis with 100% health.