Amy was diagnosed with the flu in October 2011. That night, she started seeing spots and knew something was seriously wrong. She called 911 and lost consciousness in the ambulance. Shortly after her arrival in the ER, Amy’s kidneys failed and she was immediately put on dialysis. It turned out that Amy did not have the flu, she had meningococcal disease. Less than a week later, doctors had to amputate her legs below the knees to save her life, as they were full of toxins and had no circulation. Two months later, most of her fingers were also amputated. She spent a total of 154 days in the intensive care unit. Her treatment included a kidney transplant, donated by her mother.
Amy did not know that meningitis is potentially vaccine-preventable. Even if she had been vaccinated, the vaccine available at the time wouldn’t have protected her against serogroup B, which she had. Amy’s goal is to keep others from going through what she and her family went through. She educates others about meningococcal disease prevention in order to save lives.