T.E.A.M. member (survived at age 17 years)
Just after Easter in 2006, Francesca’s mom found her motionless in bed with purplish spots on her face, wrists and legs. Francesca had been feeling sick with a fever for a few weeks. She had seen a doctor earlier that day and asked if it might be meningitis, but was told it was just the flu. At the hospital doctors gave Francesca a 20 percent chance of survival. She beat the odds, but needed intensive physical therapy to return to normal activities, which included competitive swimming. Francesca still has long-term complications.
Francesca is working with NMA to educate others on the importance of vaccination and to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of meningitis so they can seek immediate treatment.