Cathy’s daughter Lawson was a vibrant 18-year-old. After a day of horseback riding, she went to bed early with a headache. Cathy assumed she was overly tired, but later became concerned because Lawson was very sluggish. Cathy took Lawson to the hospital. Though she did not have a fever or rash, Lawson became increasingly lethargic and sensitive to light. Doctors ordered a spinal tap which confirmed meningitis. Despite treatment, Lawson passed away from what Cathy later learned was pneumococcal meningitis.
Cathy works with NMA to raise awareness about the dangers and prevention of bacterial meningitis. She feels it’s critical for communities to know about the symptoms of all types of bacterial meningitis and wants to help educate others about recommended meningococcal vaccinations which can prevent the majority of bacterial meningitis cases in adolescents.