Mum survives rare strain of meningitis

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A mum of two was rushed to intensive care after contracting a rare strain of meningococcal meningitis.

Louise White, 41, spent four days in intensive care battling the killer virus, which left her temporarily unable to walk, barely able to speak and with severe memory loss.

She then spent a further week in hospital before being allowed to return home to her family.

And while she is on the road to recovery, she still has to walk with a stick and is tired and weak. Doctors say it could be a year before she is back to normal.

Louise, of Primrose Close in Biggleswade,first went to bed on January 3 suffering what she thought was a migraine.

But husband Peter called for a paramedic after her condition deteriorated.

At first, she thought it was just an intense migraine, but when Peter went to check on Louise after the paramedic had left, he found her foaming at the mouth and fitting.

Peter explained: “The paramedic was still on the drive when I burst out of the front door, so she was able to rush back in. It was just a horrendous experience.”

And he began to realise the severity of the situation when Louise was rushed to the front of the queue at A&E, where she was sedated and put on a ventilator.

Louise explained: “That’s the last thing I remember. I woke up four days later in intensive care. I had lost quite a lot of my memory.

“Luckily most of it has slowly but surely come back.”

The effects were so severe that she could not even remember how to tell the time, or her daughters’ birthdays.

She added: “The Y strain is extremely rare, particularly in someone of my age and in this country.

“I would like to raise awareness of this awful disease and the symptoms. Time is of the essence with regard to receiving treatment.”

She added: “People assume that the big symptom is the rash, but I didn’t have that at all. People shouldn’t rely on it.”

Louise’s daughter Ellena is now hoping to raise money for Meningitis Now. You can support her at www.just
giving.com/ellenawhite/

Louise added: “I’m determined to get back to me.”

For more information see www.meningitisnow.org