Sarah Joyce

Australia Group W meningococcal (Men W) Adult 25-59 Recovery with After Effects Amputations
Sarah Joyce

I was struck down by Meningococcal disease W strain with septicaemia in August 2016. I was 30 years old. I went from being a happy independent woman to fighting for my life within hours.

After thinking I had the flu, I kept getting worse and after 12 hours I was on life support and my family were told to say goodbye.

Waking up 8 days later from a coma, I had no idea the fight I still had ahead of me. I couldn’t move my body and I was put back on life support a further four times. I lost four major organs, my spleen, gallbladder, and bowel were removed and my kidneys have failed. I also have intestinal failure and an ileostomy. I have had 58 admissions to hospital and 35 operations, including amputations of fingers and toes. There isn’t much of me that meningococcal hasn’t impacted.

"Meningococcal has taken a lot from me. It has taken my career, my independence and the ability to have children."

Life after meningococcal for me is a constant battle. Three years on, I am still dependent on dialysis and have been reliant on a feeding pump to keep me alive and I require a kidney transplant. I have tubes and attachments all over my body. I am in constant pain and I never know what the next day will bring.

Meningococcal has taken a lot from me. It has taken my career, my independence and the ability to have children.

Sarah Joyce
November 2019

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