Donate Today!

Paisley

Paisley was born in January of 2011, as a healthy and strong baby girl, and the fourth child of our family. She developed cold-like symptoms when she was only 12 days old.

But she did not have a cold. She had an aggressive case of bacterial meningitis. Until that day in early February, meningitis was simply a word to me, one of those diseases that I had heard about but that only afflicts other people in other places. Within a short hour\’s span, it changed for me into one of the most haunting words that I have known.

Meningitis can act so quickly, since the infections are often very advanced before the condition is identified. It can rapidly lead to hearing loss, blindness, severe mental impairment, amputations, and death. Milk-white drops of fluid from her spinal tap revealed that the infection was already advanced by the time we arrived at the emergency room. The doctors told us that her infection was bacterial, far more serious than the milder viral meningitis.

Today Paisley is a year old. Her twelve days are now twelve months. By God’s grace, she is as perfect and whole as our other children have been. She is so well, so healthy, and so strong, that it is difficult to grasp the outcome that could have been – how close she came to a very different future. Friends of ours have been less fortunate.

It was our pediatrician’s nurse that first advised us to immediately go to the hospital with Paisley, and pressed us not to delay based upon what we thought of as unremarkable symptoms. The doctors at the hospital took the strongest actions possible, assuming the worst case scenario and treating for meningitis before the tests had been processed. Their proactive playbook and prioritization of her case made a difference, in a struggle where lost time can mean irreversible repercussions.

Within minutes of our arrival at the hospital, friends appeared to sit with us and to pray with us. Word spread rapidly through our church, our friends, and our family. Within hours there were scores praying. Within two days, there were hundreds: spread across the US, South America, Asia, and Europe.

With the coming of her first birthday, I cannot escape reflecting upon what has happened and how thankful we continue to be. I look at what so many people did to save one little life. These are things that do not wash off; they are indelible to a parent’s heart. When Paisley smiles, when she bounces to music, when her eyes glow in the soft light of our Christmas tree, I remember.

Charles

I contracted meningococcal meningitis when I was only three days old. I was very lucky and received treatment within hours of contracting the disease. In 1946, penicillin was the only drug available to combat meningitis. Back then, the survival rate was one in seven, according to the doctors at St. Mary’s Infirmary in Galveston, Texas, where I was treated. It was not easy for me to live with the neurological after effects. It took me longer to master new skills and concepts. I discovered through the years that my way of learning was different than it was for others, but I could, and did, learn.

I served 30 years with the military both reserve and active duty and received Letters of Commendations from Generals in the Air Force, and both the Navy Achievement Medal and Navy Commendation Medal. At age 57, I have proven that survivors of bacterial meningitis can succeed in life and overcome the challenges that life presents.

Kristy

My name is Kristy & I was diagnosed with meningitis on August 4th, 2007. I was on a job interview, and I was becoming extremely cold and shaking to the point it was unbearable. The lady giving me the interview sent me home and said to call her tomorrow. I went home and took some cold and sinus medicine, then I went to sleep. Later my fiance came in to wake me up and check on me, and I felt so weak. I really didn’t know where I was or anything. He called my friend who is a nurse, and she came over and checked my vitals. She told my fiance to get me to the emergency room immediately.

When I arrived at the hospital, I was checked by the triage nurse, and they sent me straight to the back. All I remember after that is the nurse telling me I was very sick and to just relax. After that I was asleep. When I awoke, I thought it was the next day. I told my mom I had to call the lady about my interview. She said, “Kristy you need to wait, at this point we are very happy to have you here.” I asked what it was, and she said, “They told us you were not gonna make it through the night, but by the grace of God you are here.” I asked her what today is, and she told me I had been asleep for one week, ad I was shocked! Then, she said, “There is something we need to tell you.” That’s when I was informed that I had to have both my feet amputated and two of my fingers. I was devestated!! But all in all I am thankful for my life and the works God has done for me. The big shocker to all the doctors is that I was 30 years old when this happened, and they said they hardly have cases of this disease from people my age.

Robbie

My 35 year old son was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and died on February 11, 2009, 36 hours after entering the hospital. He lived in Dayton, Texas, and was taken to Herman Memorial hospital in Humble. I don’t believe this news was made public in the area. His name was Shawn. I feel that everyone should be made aware; it is such a dreadful and dangerous disease.