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Although the meningitis it can appear in a matter of hours, its effects can last a lifetime. Those who lose their lives to illness leave their loved ones behind. Many survivors experience physical and mental health problems that make returning to "normal" completely impossible. We tell you the day to day of people who live with effects of meningitis and sepsis.
After months of hospitalization and rehabilitation, survivors may find that they can no longer work, need a part-time or full-time caregiver to help them complete their daily tasks, and have to move into a specially adapted home that accommodates their new needs.
To help raise awareness of the potential lifelong impact that meningitis and sepsis can have, we want to share the story with you. of three incredible meningitis survivors whose lives have been deeply affected by the disease.
1. Bacterial meningitis
In Europe, up to 1 in 5 patients with Bacterial meningitis, the most dangerous, will die. Many survivors will be left with a series of serious disabilities that require ongoing long-term support. These may include, but are not limited to, brain injury, cerebral palsy or epilepsy, behavioral / emotional changes, blindness / vision loss, deafness / hearing changes, depression and mood swings, memory failure, insomnia, extreme fatigue, developmental delay in children, and learning difficulties.
The pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis they are two different types of bacterial meningitis. Cameron was 5 1/2 months old when he developed pneumococcal meningitis. Her mother says: “Cameron survived, but with life-changing side effects. He suffered severe brain damage, a significant loss of muscle strength, total deafness in one ear, a wandering eye, and life-threatening epilepsy. ”Cameron's abilities were less than a newborn, he even had to learn to suck again.
Now Cameron is a grown man, who is not verbal. He is unable to go to the bathroom alone and needs a person who is constantly by his side. His life is similar to a little boy, although he is 22 years old. "He loves life and spreads love to everyone he meets, but he will never live an independent life, work a paid job, get married or have children," explains his mother.
2. Meningococcal disease (meningococcal meningitis and sepsis)
Meningococcal bacteria live in the back of the throat and nose. Sometimes they can pass through the throat into the bloodstream, causing sepsis. From the bloodstream, they can pass into the lining of the brain (the meninges) and cause meningitis. This means that meningococcal meningitis and septicemia often occur together.
In 2016, Sarah from Australia was diagnosed with meningococcal disease: “I was 30 years old, completely fit and healthy, but the disease attacked me and I am still fighting it today. Due to sepsis, I had multi-organ failure, which led to the removal of my spleen, gallbladder, and complete kidney failure. I stay on dialysis - otherwise I couldn't live - until I'm well enough to receive a kidney transplant, "he explains.
"I had to relearn how to walk again and had several fingers and toes amputated. The loss of 20kgs left me extremely thin and malnourished, needing a feeding tube several times a day. I have had more than 20 operations in less than 2 years Chronic pain and psoriatic arthritis confine me to bed most days. Being in the hospital so often and not having a spleen increases my risk of picking up hospital-acquired infections. Having the bacteria Clostridium difficile (C-Diff ) in my intestine caused it to become toxic, and without surgery to remove it, I would not have survived. This led to an ileostomy bag. Every day I face new challenges. I am constantly nauseous and never know what the next day, but I'm still fighting. "
"You don't know how strong you are until being strong is your only option. My life has been completely changed, all by this disease. I am now a proud public speaker and share my story and information about meningococcal disease. In addition to this, I aspire to helping and motivating others facing challenges over which they have no control. I advocate and share my story in hopes of helping and preventing this from happening to others. "
3. Viral meningitis
While viral meningitis is usually benign, mild in consequence, and rarely life-threatening, it can affect many people and leave you with a number of side effects. These can include depression, exhaustion, concentration and balance problems, headaches, and mood swings.
In 2013, Alex was diagnosed with viral meningitis. His family watched him go from having flu-like symptoms to being in a coma in less than 24 hours. After waking up several days later, he began to slowly recover.
Alex was sent home, but had a relapse a month later - he had a seizure so bad that he didn't wake up for 26 hours. Many years have passed since Alex was first diagnosed, and he still has side effects, such as memory loss or loss of the sense of smell.
The meningitis it can affect anyone, of any age, living anywhere in the world. If you suspect signs and symptoms, see a doctor immediately and avoid being in contact with other people
You can read more articles similar to Children and Adults Living with the Effects of Meningitis and Sepsis, in the Health on site category.