She called an ambulance and my boyfriend. I don't remember how but I managed to get up and as soon as my feet touched the ground I fainted. When I woke up I remember doctors around me and my boyfriend holding my face telling me to stay awake. I could see he was scared but I couldn't feel my body anymore which was a huge relief after the many hours of pain, so all I wanted to do was close my eyes and rest. Luckily I did stay awake and was rushed to hospital where I was induced in a coma. The minutes in hospital were sad as the pain came back and a doctor held my face and gently explained my situation. I remember crying as he was telling me "we are going to take care of you and do the best we can" and feeling a mixture between wanting to be put asleep so the pain would go away and not wanting to be put asleep as I wanted to see my family beforehand.
My parents (who live in Italy as I am Italian) were told over the phone it was a miracle I'd made it this far and that the next 24 hours were crucial, but hope was very low for me. It was awful for them. They rushed to the UK and found me in the ICU of Bristol Royal Infirmary. My lungs had collapsed and by that point the rash was all over my body.
To everyone’s surprise I pulled through, not a single after effect, just a small scar on my leg from the rash. Amazing! Doctors kept telling me I was extremely lucky and they would have never expected me to survive, let alone without any after effects.
Waking up was hard and painful and I couldn't remember much. I couldn't see for the first few hours but luckily my sight came back. I was under the effects of all the drugs and had visions and nightmares of all sorts but it didn't matter, 24 hours later I was on my feet and the day after that I was showering alone in Ward 7, a whole world away from the fearful ICU.
Meningitis is an awful disease, and I was one of those ever so lucky people. I wish to do all I can to help and love being involved with MRF's wonderful projects.