Lannie Bratton’s son, Larry, almost lost his life in April 2008 to meningococcal disease. Larry began feeling a burning sensation in his skin, so his sister drove him to the hospital. Larry soon developed a purplish rash, a classic symptom of meningococcal disease, but doctors thought that he was having an allergic reaction. That night, Larry suffered from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Soon his kidneys began to fail and doctors told Lannie to come to the hospital immediately because Larry was not expected to survive. As Larry’s skin started to turn black, a doctor suspected he might have bacterial meningitis and later confirmed the diagnosis through a blood test. With treatment, Larry’s condition improved, but he experienced severe scarring all over his body due to the disease and endured skin grafts and multiple surgeries.
“Have your children vaccinated, and spread the word about preventing meningococcal disease,” says Lannie. “A simple vaccine can help protect your family from this devastating disease.”