Rachel thought she just had a bit of a cold. But it turned out that she had meningitis. Knowing how quickly meningitis can become fatal, Rachel is lucky to have survived thanks to the quick thinking of her boyfriend. As a rash began to appear on Rachel’s body, her boyfriend called for an ambulance and ensured she got to hospital before it was too late. Rachel went into a coma while her body fought the infection, but she survived. A story of caution – we should all look out for signs that the symptoms of a cold could be something more sinister.
I thought I had flu!
Rachel is lucky her boyfriend recognised her symptoms when she thought she had flu… he saved her life.
“I’d just finished a shift at my part-time job in Boots when my boyfriend came to pick me up. ‘I’m coming down with something,’ I said. It felt like flu. Adam, 19, called my mum and let her know he’d take me back to his house so I could get some rest.
Symptoms developed. I had blinding headaches and started vomiting. In the morning, I took a shower. As I was getting dressed, Adam noticed I had bruising on my shoulder and small red spots on my body. ‘I think it’s meningitis,’ he said, pressing a glass against my skin.I could hardly think straight, was delirious and burning hot. I collapsed into bed as Adam called a paramedic.
I was rushed to hospital, where medics in the critical care ward spent two days trying to save my life. ‘It’s the worse kind of meningitis – meningococcal septicaemia. We need to prepare for the worse,’ they said. But because I’d got to hospital early, I was able to have the antibiotics and steroids needed to stop things getting worse. A week later, I was on the road to recovery.
I’m back at college now and can hardly believe that just a few weeks ago, I nearly died. If it wasn’t for Adam’s quick thinking, I could have lost limbs or died. Adam says he knew what to do because of old meningitis posters in his primary school. I’m just glad he was paying attention!
Of course, now he keeps reminding me that he saved my life. He thinks he can get away with anything. And for now, I’ll humour him. After all, I’ve got a lot to thank him for!