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As some of you may know, one of the most important aspects of my job as the Trust's Community Support Coordinator in the West Midlands, is the delivery of Home Visits to families throughout the region who have had an experience of meningitis.
In October 2011 I organised one such visit with Alex and Anita Bill from Four Oaks near Sutton Coldfield, after their young son David contracted Pneumococcal Meningitis. The family were understandably shaken up after their experience as David had been very poorly, but in general he was doing really well and we expected that although the Trust would continue to keep in touch with the family, David would soon make a complete and full recovery.
Unfortunately in March of this year I took a call from Alex to say that David had once again been rushed into hospital with meningitis. This case was even more serious and septicaemia was quite advanced meaning that little David's hands and feet were black due to the blood poisioning. David was fighting for his life but Alex and Anita were told by the medics to prepare for the worst.
Me, with mum Anita and David, (2)
Thank goodness, due to a combination of fast-thinking by his parents and excellent care by the team at Good Hope and Birmingham Children's Hospital, David won his second battle with meningitis and is once again pretty much making a total recovery. It was my absolute pleasure to pay another Home Visit to the family on Friday to see how the little man is getting on, and both Alex and Anita both stressed how important the knowledge about meningitis that they had gained from the Trust had been. Alex said "If we hadn't have known about the tell-tale signs of meningitis and been given one of the symptoms cards the first time we spoke to the Meningitis Trust, David would not be here with us now".
Obviously many families out there are not as lucky as the Bills, but this case just goes to show how important knowing about the signs and symptoms of the disease can be. So if you have helped raise funds or awareness about the disease in the past, thank you, because it is people like you that are helping us to help people like the Bill family throughout the UK.
Bye for now, Matt.
Community Development Coordinator for the West Midlands region.