Meningitis Now
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Sudden attack that killed my Mum

My mum who was 47 at the time was perfectly healthy, and we were planning our weekend on the Wed. By the Wed night she started experiencing headaches, which soon became severe, and other symptoms which included a disike to bright light. she was rushed to hospial in the morning and diagnosed with meningacocol meningitis. I received a call at work from my younger brother(16 at the time), and rushed to the hospital. I was greeted by a nurse who ushered me to a room with tissues and a phone. I had no idea at this time of anything, all I new was that my mym had been unwell and was at the hospital. They then told me the news that she had passed away. We were all in shock, and were told by the hospital that it was very unusual for an adult to contract meningitis, and that usually this would only happen if there was an outbreak in the area. I was told it is more common in children, but to date I still dont know why this happened......

9 Replies

I am so sorry for your loss, you can call the meningitis hot line which is 24 hour

Freephone UK number:

0808 80 10 388*

Freephone Republic of Ireland:

1800 523 196

nurse-led helpline is available 24 hours per day, 365 days of the year

maybe they can give the answer you are looking for,

again so so sorry for your loss


Thank you


i wish i could do more the help, but you need to talk to people, go and talk to your doc, ask questions never stop until you get the answer that you are looking for, and i hope that you are looking after yourself as well.

Mandy x


This happenned in 1991, and at the time I found the Meningitis Trust a great comfort. I still wonder though, why this happenned to my Mum so suddenly.


I was 44 when I contracted this horrible illness, I was fine on Sunday, poorly on Monday and by Tuesday my wife was told to prepare for the worst as I was gravely ill. I spent the next 10 days on a life support machine and have had to have both legs amputated below the knee due to the illness. I believed the same as you were told adults do not get meningitis it babies and teenagers HOW WRONG anyone of any age can get this horrible illness.

I am sorry for your loss especially in such a short space of time, your mum is now at peace and can watch over you.



So sorry for your loss. I had a scare when my son turned 18. I almost lost him and he still gets horrible headaches.


I contracted MM when I was Florida. I was not in a crowded dorm living arrangement. I lived alone. I had had a virus (flu?) for the previous week. One night I had severe chills, cancelled my plans for that night, and went to bed. At 9am the next morning, I called in to work and said I didn't feel well but would probably be in later, around 11am.

By 11am, I had called an ambulance...,only because the pain in both my legs was UNBEARABLE. When I arrived in the ER, I was SCREAMING in pain. They kept asking me if I had taken any drugs. No, I had not taken even an aspirin and certainly never took any "recreational" drugs.

I went into a coma for 10 days.

I awakened (from the coma) with severe pain in my legs and was told that the problem now was DIC, a complication of severe illnesses. That severe pain kept me in the ICU for 6 weeks. I begged to be taken out of the ICU, was taken to a regular room, and stayed there for a total of 6 months. 35 years later, I still have pain in my toe area which requires me to wear only ONE pair of shoes that I found tolerable, after trying on hundreds of shoes for years.

But my life is good...great, in fact.I was lucky, very lucky. But no one has EVER been able to tell me WHY I had this disease!.


Hi Smallpackage, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mum. The shock of it must have sent you reeling. I contracted Streptococcal Meningitis at 57, was in a coma for 5 days. my family too was preparing for the worse and very angry at the lack of appropriate care here in Niagara, Ontario, Canada. Once I was airlifted to a better equipped facility, hope finally arrived and things turned around. My daughter had been hysterical and my son so angry. I was oblivious coming out of the coma. Very confusing time. My brain had hemorrhaged out of my scull and had to be surgically returned with reconstructive surgery to the bone as the infection, which apparently had been lingering there a long time, was all through the bone. I am left stone deaf in the right ear and have vestibular imbalance in both inner ears which gives me a kind of Jack Sparrow walk.(if you have seen Pirates of the Caribbean you will know what I mean). I had been caring for 3 grandsons with high needs and was forced to give up custody of 2 of them as I could no longer cope. Fortunately for me I still get to see them, but that has been hard. They lived with us for 6 years. I agree with the above mentioned comments. Ask questions. It won't bring your Mum back but it just might save the next Mum. Our health care here sucks but it's ours and if we don't fight for it who will? God's Peace to you and your brother. Jeffery


I am so sorry for you loss. I totally understand how you are feeling & my heart goes out to you. It's such a shock for you but it does get a little better with time.

My dear mum passed away so suddenly & unexpected on the (thursday) 19th January 2012. Like you mum, she was very fit and well. She was 64, a very young 64 and I still can't get my head around it all. That evening is still so fresh in my mind it feels like only last week. My mum started to feel a little unwell in the early hours. She had been absolutely fine until then, was up watching tv with my dad until midnight. Her symptoms were just like a virus, she just felt a bit unwell. Headache, backache, hot & cold. The doctor saw her around lunchtime and she was told just to drink plenty of fluids. I was in work until mid afternoon, & phoned my dad to see if they needed anything from morrisons - that's when he said mam was feeling unwell and was in bed. He must have thought it was nothing serious as he would have phoned me earlier.thats what's frightening about meningitis.... Mam never complained and was never poorly, even if she did have a cold etc she would always be up and about & fight it. When I called to see mam she was lying on the bed and I touched her legs she was so cold, but then again mams feet were always cold! She was complaining that her lower back was hurting (her words ... She felt uncomfortable ! Wasn't crying in pain. This was around 5pm-5.15pm. She by now vomited & had diarrhoea - I was concerned because her mouth was fairly dry so was worried she was getting dehydrated so I phoned the doctor again. Said I was concerned about dehydration, said mam had been sick & diarrhoea and said she was complaining of back pain and stomach pain by now. Dr said he would refer to hospital & I was to collect a admittance letter from the surgery. Mam walked downstairs with dads help, got in the car & we drove to the hospital (5mins away). I remember looking at the clock in the ward and it was 5.55pm, mam was getting checked out in a seat (no beds) I remember getting her a cup of water, nurse took her BP, tried to take blood & I could see a look of concern!! All of a sudden a bed was wheeled, mam even got herself onto the bed and she was wheeled to a room. Nurse took dad & I to a little office, we saw mam once alive after this, after a bit, we went to see her, she had an oxygen mask & antibiotic drip etc. i was shocked to see her as she had a rash / purple spots covering her neck, bit on her face & noticed her hands/arms. She was trying to take her mask off, saying it was suffocating her.... That was sadly tye last time we spoke or saw mam alive :-( the nurse took us back to the room. they kept saying they were concerned about mam, didn't know what was wrong, then she kept coming back in saying, they were very concerned, then critical then was told to contact any close family. It was a nightmare!! My sister lived 2.30hrs away. I had to phone her! I was on the phone with my sister when the consultant came in to say mam had passed away! It was just before 8pm. It was surreal, felt like a dream/nightmare. How can someone so healthy die so sudden. I still can't believe it's happened. They suspected it was meningitis & public health was involved, we, close family had to take some tablets. It took weeks to find out the true cause of death. Septicaemia had been put on the death certificate but weeks later it was confirmed as meningococcal septicaemia. We don't know how she got it. Life can be so cruel. I think the suddenness makes it so hard to take in. My GP helped me so much and the love and support of family and friends helps. Counselling helped me a little too. Try and speak to the doctors and ask them all the questions you meed answers to. I miss my mam so much, she's the first thing I think about when I wake up and not an hour goes by where I am not thinking about her, i still try to understand why it happened. The consultant said it was just so very unlucky, pure bad luck - one of those things, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and nothing we would have done would have changed anything. I hope you find the answers you are looking for and believe me time is a healer. You never stop hurting, missing her but you do become a little stronger in yourself to be able to deal with it all. Remember all the lovely memories you had, in time you will get so much comfort from looking at pictures, videos. Take care of yourself & once you have gone through the grieving process, this is different for everyone, deal with it in your way, do not rush it, look after yourself & try and speak to someone about how you feel. In time, when you feel more like yourself, live your life to the full & try and be happy. To make your mum proud of you. They will always be with us, watching over us. Xx as we have cruelly found out, life is so precious. Xx


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