2:00pm Wednesday 18th September 2013
By Daniel Chipperfield
A SINGLE mum from Dursley is sharing her first-hand experience of meningitis and septicaemia to make sure everyone is aware of the symptoms as part of Meningitis Awareness Week.
Running from Monday, September 16 to Sunday, September 22, the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) is hoping the week leads to more people recognising the signs and dental worker Gemma Allen, 33, was keen to do her part.
The oral health worker's daughter Isabella, seven, contracted pneumococcal meningitis at their home on Rosebery Road at their first Christmas together in 2006 when she was only 17 weeks old.
She was in hospital for over two weeks and it was touch and go whether she would survive.
"The doctor said if we’d left it a couple of hours more she wouldn’t be with us today," said Miss Allen.
Isabella, who attends Dursley Primary Academy, is still suffering seven years later with partial deafness of her left ear, several allergies, severe acute asthma which results in hospital appointments every three months and recurring chest and ear infections.
Miss Allen added: "If you were to meet her you wouldn’t be able to tell how ill she is but her huge file at the hospital tells a different story - everyone needs to know about these diseases."
MRF estimates that meningitis and septicaemia affect ten people in the UK and Ireland every day and a quarter of survivors are left with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs.
To find out more about the symptoms visit the MRF website www.meningitis.org
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