I was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia four years ago, when I was 13.

I first felt the symptoms on a Sunday night when I was chatting with some friends. My first symptoms were stiff, painful joints and muscles. I thought this was because I worked myself too hard during P.E. Little did I know I was carrying a deadly disease. I said goodbye to my friends and walked home. It would normally have taken me 5 minutes to walk; it took me an agonizing 15 minutes.

When I arrived at home I thought a radox bath would be the solution to my painful muscles. Two hours later I managed to crawl out, shivering with blue fingers. After tossing and turning in my sleep, I woke up with a severe migraine and to find I had been sick many times during my sleep. Thankfully my mother knew the symptoms and rushed me to the doctors with an emergency appointment. At that time our fears were confirmed. I was then transferred to the local hospital.

There, I was in complete isolation, apart from family and hospital staff. I was meant to have the spinal tap, but as I had all the symptoms and they took a sample of my rash they were certain what it was. On my first night I was throwing up every 15 minutes in the early hours of the morning and woken up by regular blood pressure tests. I did not eat anything for about 4 days, leaving me to lose half a stone. After a week had passed, I was told I could go home, until they noticed a rash. I had an allergic reaction to the penicillin, leading me to have to stay another night in the hospital, but this time I was allowed to wander round. I am teaching myself to walk again.

I was allowed out the following day, but my mother couldn't pick me up, so I had to call my father. Then I found out he was on compassionate leave, which was expected. What I was told next took my breath away. He was in Italy with his girlfriend who he had been dating for a mere month. He was taking a vacation whilst I was in hospital with a rare disease. What's more is that he was getting paid for it!  Luckily I came out with no disabilities and found out what kind of father I really had. 

Shrewsbury, UK

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