World Meningitis Day was first held in 2008 and every year since then the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations and other charities supporting those affected by the disease have been using this opportunity to raise awareness of meningitis.
We recently welcomed Helena Campbell to Tozers as an Associate in our medical negligence department. Helena is also an ambassador and be-friender for Meningitis Research Foundation.
Helena was affected by meningitis at the age of 6, when her dad contracted bacterial meningitis at 32 years old. Having seen the life changing effects of meningitis, she is encouraged by the World Health Organisations ambition to defeat meningitis by 2030.
Helena’s role as an ambassador is to support the aims of the Meningitis Research Foundation, and those who need their services. As a be-friender, Helena visits families in the Southwest affected by a diagnosis of meningitis, providing support in the short and longer term.
Meningitis and neonatal sepsis are the 2nd biggest infectious cause of death in children under 5, and a prompt diagnosis and listening to the instincts of parents is fundamentally important.
Unfortunately, meningitis can kill in hours. Approximately 1 in 10 people who become infected die and 1 in 5 survivors end up with lifelong disabilities. The long-term effects, both visible and invisible injuries, are life changing for the survivor and their families.
The World Health Organisation have issued a global road map in the hope of defeating meningitis by 2030, to save 200,000 lives annually and reduce the disabilities caused by meningitis. World Meningitis Day 2022 is to raise awareness of the disease, and its devasting consequences.
“When my dad became unwell whilst visiting my grandparents in Leeds, my Mum reached out to a local GP. She rang several times, witnessing my dad’s deterioration. He had a high temperature, migraine, sensitivity to light, a stiff neck and had fever type symptoms. The GP said that it was flu and advised paracetamol. My Mum remained concerned, and rang our family GP, who told her to call 999 as he clearly had meningitis. This is the call that saved my dad’s life and is why we have both gone on to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease, and the importance of a prompt diagnosis, as well as supporting other families affected by meningitis.
We were told that my dad’s prognosis was extremely poor, and he was unlikely to survive. He was admitted to intensive care, where he fought meningococcal meningitis (B) and septicaemia. He was told that his legs were so septic, that he was likely to require amputation. Whilst his legs were saved, he had a very long and painful recovery.
Whilst it is 31 years this month that dad first contracted meningitis, we continue to witness the life changing effects of the disease, most significantly memory loss, thunderclap headaches, partial deafness and problems with both of his legs.
The thought that there is the possibility of a world without meningitis is extremely encouraging, and we will be supporting the aims of the World Health Organisation and Meningitis Research Foundation to #defeatmeningitis”.
How can we help
If you or someone in your family has been affected by meningitis, and have suffered a delay in diagnosis, please contact us.