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My name is Kaitlyn and my twin sister, Brittany, passed away from bacterial meningitis on April 20th, 2008. We were 17 and seniors in high school. Brittany came home from work April 19th and went to bed complaining about a headache. She woke up at midnight, throwing up and with a very high fever.

My mom and step-dad took her to the hospital, and the doctors ran tests on her which all came back negative… the only test they didn’t do was the spinal tap for meningitis. About 6 a.m. on April 20th the hospital sent her home to rest. A couple hours later she woke back up, fell out of the bed, and pulled herself to the nearest trash can to throw up.. this time we knew something was not right!! She was throwing up, high fever, couldn’t feel her legs, and was not herself at all. The hospital then admitted her and hooked her up to IV’s and ran more tests.

The doctor kept coming to us with bad news… nothing we wanted to hear at all. we were trying to get her to pee in a bed pan for a sample and that’s when we realized she was bleeding internally. I was taking off her jewelry and noticed she had the purple splotches everywhere on her…we ran and got the nurse! From then on everything happened very quickly…her liver started shutting down, she couldn’t breathe on her own, so she was hooked up to a ventilator, and then her kidneys shut down, and her whole body had turned purple from the blood rushing to the surface of her body. All the family was there and tons and tons of friends. Our dad got there literally 5 mins after she had passed away…. the nurse took him in the room with her and didn’t even tell him she had passed away until he saw my sister and asked what happened.

We all had NO IDEA what happened…we were so confused and lost. We didn’t find out until 3 days later that she had passed away from bacterial meningitis. I am so thankful there is an organization out there to help educate other in this disease.


I had spinal meningitis when I was 8 years old. I’m now 21. Luckily I lost no limbs and came out just fine after my long week in Egleston Children’s Hospital. From what I remember, I was sick one day, starting off with headaches and stomach pain and coughing with some vomiting. My mom took me to the local hospital, and they said it was just the flu and I’d be fine, and that she was over worrying. Overnight it seemed the symptoms got worse, and that’s when my eyes became extremely sensitive; the smallest bit of light hurt and my legs became EXTREMELY sensitive. The lightest touch or breeze to barely scrape my leg would send the most excruciating pain up my back and all over my legs, as if somebody was literally stabbing a sword through the bottom of my feet into my back up to my head.

Getting me into the car to take me to Egleston was hard, because my mom had to pick me up, and the pain of her touching my legs literally knocked me out. I woke up inside the hospital prepped for a spinal tap. That as well was a horrible pain, with an extremely long needle put into my spine to draw some fluid for testing. From what they said, spinal fluid was supposed to be clear and mine was so foggy it might as well have been a solid color. They put me into a room and kept all the lights off for me. I remember having IV’s. There were 2 other people in the hospital with the same disease. I don’t remember if they made it or not, but I remember it was the longest week of my life.

My dad used to spend the night in my room, and he got in trouble all the time for not wearing his protective mask and I got to play Nintendo 64 before anybody else. It took me about a week after being released from the hospital before I was finally able to walk again on my own. I have never seen my mom as happy as I did that day. It’s a brief story because I was so young, and I can’t remember every detail, plus I was constantly passed out from pain. But it was a fight I’m happy I won, and now I’m serving in the Army. My back still causes me tons of pain and even working out the muscles and all doesn’t really help. I’ve adjusted to it and hopefully it won’t get too bad again.


I was 19 years old when I contracted Meningococcal Meningitis in August of 1996. I lived in Jasper, Georgia, at the time and was enjoying my summer with friends. We had been camping at a nearby river and had gone to town on Friday night to get something to eat and ride around. After going to dinner around 6pm, we decided to go to a friend’s house nearby. At about 7:30 I felt like my head was about to explode. Fifteen minutes later I had my friend stop the car so I could throw up. I recall thinking that I must have gotten a bad burger. We started back, and no more than 15 minutes later I had my friend pull over again. This time I could not make it back to the car. My friends took me home to my mom’s house. I told my mom that I must have the flu and that I just need to get some rest.

The next morning I awoke to an overwhelming headache and pain in my lower extremities. My mother had to work every other Saturday and as my luck would have it, she was gone. I tried to stand to get to the restroom but I fell and ended up soiling myself. I struggled to take a shower. In the shower, I fell and pulled the curtain down on top of me. The pain in my legs at this point kept me from walking. After getting dressed, I pulled myself to the couch to rest. It was around 11:00 am. At this point it seemed like all I did was blink my eyes and my suroundings would change. I closed my eyes and then my mom was home (4:30pm); then I closed my eyes, opened them, and my mom was calling 911. I blinked and then the paramedics were in front of me. I blinked and even more people were in the house, even the local police. The last thing I recall is that I was fighting with the nurse about a catheter, as I did not care for one. I woke up 3 weeks later in another hospital. The pain was still there but was a lot different. When I came to, I recalled the doctor saying not to expect much to my mom and my sister. The doctor told me I was a sick young man and asked if I understood that. I blinked once as I was still on a ventilator. He said I was going to lose my legs, and that he did not know how much would be amputated. I strugled to lift up and see my feet. My mother did not want me to look, but the doctor lifted the bed just so I could see my black shriveled up toes. The black ran all the way up to my thighs. I also looked at my hands and they were black. I tried my best to move my fingers, but they did not respond. The doctor told my family that they needed to start thinking about my final arrangements. I was told my mom went nuts.

I spent 5 mounths total at the hospital, had 18 operations and more pain than any one should know. I found your site almost 15 years after I lost both legs from this awful thing. I have never met a person that had MM. I often feel like no one around me can understand some of the challenges I have faced and still face day to day. I found myself in tears at the stories on your site. My heart reaches out to the families of the ones lost.

I now have two great kids of my own. I am grateful for the work you do in protecting ones from MM and making the stories of yourselves and loved ones available for people like me to read. Just knowing you are not alone in this crazy world will help get some through another day.


In 1981 I came down with meningococcal meningitis. I was 19 and in college. My case was the 1st case in the hospital in south Florida. After being diognosed with the flu I was sent home. I woke up vomitting and would faint when I stood up.

When the fire and rescue came, my pulse could not be detected. I spent 10 days in the hospital, 3 days in ICU. They realized what I had after the spinal tap, and at that point injected penicillin to kick it. There were no side effects or permanent injuries. I understand that I am very lucky to be alive and I urge parents to vaccinate their children.


My name is Danielle and I am 23 years old, and I am a survivor of bacterial meningococcal meningitis. When I was only 2 years old, I contracted this horrible disease while traveling out of state. My parents said for days I ran a fever of close to 106 degrees, but hospitals continued to send me home with them because they could not figure out what was wrong with me. Finally, one doctor, and if not for him I probably would not be here, made the decision to do a spinal tap and discovered that I was highly contaminated with this serious disease. After my parents were told that I had a 10% chance of survival, I was life-flighted to a children’s hospital that could help me. Immediately I was placed on IV antibiotics which caused me to fall into a coma. I was in a coma for 3 months, when doctors told my parents that if I made it out, I would have brain damage, and loss of hearing and sight because of the high fever that I had suffered for such a long period of time. Finally my parents’ prayers were answered when I finally woke up. To the disbelief of all the doctors and hospital staff, I had not suffering any brain damage and no loss of hearing or vision. To this day, the doctors are puzzled as to how I overcame what seemed to be an unalterable outcome. Now I am happily married with a wonderful 2 year old little boy and a college graduate from Georgia Southern University. Miracles can come true.


When I was in the 1st grade my father, who was never sick woke up one morning feeling nauseated. He decided to go ahead into work in San Francisco. As the morning progressed, he got worse and was admitted to the hospital. Unfortunately, as the afternoon turned to evening, he died. He was 31 years old, had never had a serious illness and just got sick and died all in one day. Needless to say we were all in shock, especially when we were told they were not sure what caused his death. We didn’t even have a chance to tell him goodbye. We returned home from the funeral to a Christmas tree with presents for our dad still under the tree. It was almost a week before we learned of the reason being Spinal Meningitis, something we had never heard of. During that week my mother had to make many life changing decisions to raise four young children as a single parent. That was over 42 years ago and there are still so many people who have never even heard of meningitis and what is even scarier is that people still die or become permanently disabled. The speed of this disease taking over your body is still today as it was in 1965, devastating. I feel as if there is no “getting a handle” on this once you have it. The day I heard immunizations were available, I thought to myself, “wonderful news” I would tell everyone, don’t wait till someone close to you experiences this disease, be proactive and get the vaccine.