It is 13 years since I lost my brother David to Meningitis.
We were a close family and I was sixteen at the time. He was a fun and kind – hearted boy, who was into all the right things. He was sporty and that night we had been watching him play in his hockey game. Later that night he complained of cold symptoms- sniffly nose, stiff joints, etc. I crashed in his room and he was up being a bit sick in the night. The next day he still seemed ok- my mum and dad phoned the doctor and they said just to give him paracetemal and monitor him. At 11 o clock the rash appeared and we rushed him up to the hospital which was two minutes from our house. From then on it was like a scene from ER, he was hooked up to all sorts of machinery. A few hours later he was dead.
I could not believe that my little brother was gone. We were close, I mean we fought sometimes as brothers and sisters do but it didn’t change the fact that I loved him. We had so many fun times together.
I was in shock for many years. Still expecting him to walk through the door or see him walking to school with his friends. Those were my darkest days. I tried to keep going and threw myself into work and tried to keep busy and block it out. It was the only way I knew how to get by.
I have accepted it now, but I often wonder what he would be like now or how things would be different if he was here today.
Two years later my mum passed away- she never ever got over losing my brother and I felt like we lost her as well on this day.
Now 13 years on I have an amazing family of my own. My husband is fantastic and I have an amazing two year old boy and I thank my lucky stars for him every day. My dad is fantastic too. He has fundraised thousands of pounds for Meningitis in memory of my brother.This is his way of fighting back against the disease. Although the grief and sadness will never leave me I feel very lucky with what I have. Being a mum myself now I cannot bear to think what my mum and dad went through.
Meningitis is an awful disease that strikes with no warning. Nothing could have ever prepared me for this. My advice to anyone in a similar situation is always trust your instincts - if you think something is wrong don’t delay, get it checked out.