Meningococcal septicaemia: Lily’s story

Lily was only 23-years-old when her life suddenly changed. In 24 hours, she went from feeling slightly unwell to fighting for her life. Her story is helping raise awareness of meningococcal disease – the importance of recognising the signs & symptoms and that prevention is the best protection against this disease.

“On Christmas Eve, I got sick with what I thought was the flu or a virus,” she recalls. The next day she woke up with a fever and, by Christmas night, she was throwing up and couldn’t keep water down. At midnight a rash had formed and her mother called the doctor, who sent her straight to the hospital. A few hours later Lily was put on dialysis, diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia, a potentially deadly disease that strikes fast and hard.

In 24 hours, Lily’s life changed forever

Nothing will ever be the same again for Lily who required a kidney transplant after recovering from the ordeal. After months of recovery, she is still trying to rebuild her life. Above all, she wants to raise awareness so that young people do not have to endure the same suffering from meningococcal disease, a rare but devastating infection that affects over 1 million people worldwide every year.1

Meningococcal disease is rare, but unpredictable, fast evolving and can result in serious complications or death.2 Early diagnosis and treatment are vital.3 Survivors like Lily carry two important messages about meningococcal disease: understand the signs & symptoms so you can seek medical attention immediately, and prevention is the best protection.2,4

Please speak with a healthcare professional for further information about meningococcal disease and its prevention.


References:
  1. World Health Organization. Control of epidemic meningococcal disease. WHO Practical Guidelines. Second Edition. 1988. Geneva. Available at: https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/meningitis/WHO_EMC_BAC_98_3_EN/en/ (accessed 20/04/2020).
  2. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Meningococcal disease. Available at: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/vaccine-preventable-diseases/meningococcal-disease (accessed 17 April 2020).
  3. CDC. Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/diagnosis-treatment.html (accessed 21/04/2020).
  4. CDC. Signs and Symptoms. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/symptoms.html (accessed 21/04/2020.