Pushing the Boundaries

A series of virtual events hosted by MRF in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to bring families and individuals impacted by meningitis together to learn from experts.

When your family is affected by meningitis, it can be very isolating. You will likely have hundreds of questions, and may not know where to turn for answers. Our Support team can provide excellent and comprehensive support, but we know there's rarely anything more helpful than meeting people who have been through the same thing as you.

Our Pushing the Boundaries: Life After Limb Loss events were set up to bring families with children impacted by limb loss after meningitis together, along with industry experts and leading scientists, to help people impacted by meningitis feel less alone. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of our 2020 planned event, but we were determined to ensure people affected by meningitis should not feel even more isolated.

Thanks to generous support from the National Lottery Community Fund, we have been able to run a series of 'virtual' Pushing the Boundaries events in 2021. Free to all, we invited world-leading professors and doctors, as well as people impacted by meningitis themselves, to share their knowledge.

Pushing the Boundaries: Mental Health & PTSD

Our first event took place on March 31st, with a focus on mental health issues and PTSD following meningitis. We heard from MRF Ambassador Charlotte Hannibal, who spoke bravely about the challenges she has faced since losing her limbs to meningitis. Unfortunately, due to a technical error, we were unable to record Charlotte's talk. Dr Benedict Michael followed with a talk concerning meningitis sequaelae, before Professor Liam Dorris closed the session with an explanation of the psychological issues often found in survivors of meningitis.

"I left hospital with very little information from the hospital of how I would feel and all the after effects that would affect me over the next few weeks, months, then years. I found the whole event brilliant, and thought all the guest speakers were great in their particular fields." - Attendee of the Pushing the Boundaries: Mental Health & PTSD event

Pushing the Boundaries: The Invisible After Effects of Meningitis

Our second event, which took place on May 19th, took a holistic look at the "invisible after effects" of meningitis. We heard from MRF Ambassador Chris Boult, who explained his personal experience of living with and learning to manage the after effects of meningitis. Dr Michael Griffiths (University of Liverpool) followed with a talk concerning the long term, subtle neurological after effects of meningitis, before Vicki Kirwin (Senior Policy Adviser, National Deaf Children's Society) closed the session by explaining how meningitis can cause hearing loss and deafness.

"The guest speakers were very interesting and informative. It was a really well run event and made me aware of things that I personally have just dismissed or put down to other things. Thank you so much for running this event." - Attendee of the Pushing the Boundaries: Invisible After Effects event

Pushing the Boundaries: Limb Loss 

Our third and final event of this pilot series took place on June 23rd. Limb loss is a rare but life-changing after effect of bacterial meningitis, and we know how isolating it can be for people impacted by limb loss following meningitis. We were joined by MRF Ambassador Mike Davies, who explained his personal experience of living with limb loss caused by meningitis. Next, Fergal Monsell (Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol) explained why meningitis and septicaemia can cause limb loss, and the work that is being done to prevent this from happening in future. Laura Ritchie (Prosthetist at The Blatchford Centre, Nottingham) followed with an intriguing look at how prosthetics work and the range of prosthetics available, before Tracy Ralph (South East Development Officer and Essex Support and Connect Hub Coordinator at the Limbless Association) closed the session by discussing the support available for people impacted by limb loss. We are extremely grateful to all of our speakers for their time and expertise, and to all who attended.



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We take action that benefits people directly. including, training health professionals and providing support and information services.
Since the charity was founded in 1989, we have awarded 161 research grants. The total value of our investment in vital scientific research is over £19.1 million (€24.7 million).
We call for positive change as a united voice against meningitis and septicaemia, and a dedicated champion for those it affects.
Many of the after effects of meningitis aren't immediately obvious. In this blog, Support Manager Cat explains how we can help.
Ensure our support services are there for people affected by meningitis
Ensure our support services are there for people affected by meningitis
£5/€6/$6.60 per month ensures our support services are there for 10 people affected by meningitis
Cat Shehu
Support and membership manager

Hello, I'm Cat.

If you'd like to know more about this project, get in touch

Tel: 0333 405 6267