Stories from Visitors


Meningitis Survivor | New York

Flick! The lights go on and I am instantly blinded. I don’t understand what is going on around me. Everything is so crazy, but all eyes seem to be focused on me. Sitting here I start to wonder, “How did I end up here?” After the lights go out, a doctor came in to ask questions, and meanwhile, my mom is on the phone with my family. Twenty-five minutes after the doctor has finished questioning me, a woman walks into my room and says “I’m here to bring you to your CAT scan”. As I am being rolled through a hospital corridor, I realize that that had been the most relaxing part of my day. Sitting here I am able to rest without being bothered and I ignore the rest of the world. Sleeping in a hospital is not one of the best spots to choose, but it works for…  read more


meningococcal meningitis survivor | California

My story starts with a chest cold. It had been going on for about a week, with congestion and slightly labored breathing. I had attended a morning breakfast meeting on Sunday, July 30,2013 for our High School reunion. Had a uneventful meeting and a selfie with an old friend of mine. The rest of the day was fine. Went to work on Monday, feeling just okay. Had a sandwich from a local Subway, was fine after that. Later on that Monday, started to have a case of nausea, and had heard there was a food born virus going around. The nausea went away when I got home in the early evening. About 1:30AM, i woke up with a bad headache, stiff neck, a temp of 102 degrees, full body sweats, and a massive headache. I was also vomiting and had a loose stool. took some Aspirin for the fever and…  read more


Mike Survived Meningitis | New York

In March 2012 I was at the gym and slipped in the steam-room hitting my head.  I passed out for a few minutes but eventually made it to the hospital.  Three months later I was slowly riding my bike when a pedestrian stepped in front of me and grabbed my handlebars, I fell, hit my head and fractured my hip and pelvis.  That summer I inexplicably broke out in hives all over my body.  By November I was fatigued, running a low fever.  I went to the doctor several times.  He couldn’t find much wrong with me.  A few days later I was still sick so I went back, they took blood and the next morning I got a call telling me to get to the emergency room as soon as possible, my white blood count was dangerously high. I remember having a terrible fever in the ER, it hit…  read more


Meningitis Survivor | Illinois

My name is Blake Schuchardt, and my story began in March of 2005 when I was 18 and a senior in high school. I was your average basketball playing teenage boy who only thought about sports and girls. I never really was very sick and when I did get sick, it was only a cold here or there. So one day at school I started feeling like I was getting sick: stopped up nose, fever and weakness. I went home and decided to stay home the next day from school. Throughout the night I didn’t sleep very well. I kept tossing and turning and something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was not really able to move my neck or turn my head without moving my entire body to do so. I woke up around 10am and felt horrible. I figured if I…  read more


Meningitis Survivor | California

I never thought that going out with my friends on dinner adventures or working 40 hours a week as a registered nurse would somehow get me to almost lose my life. On December 9,2011 I was diagnosed with a severe form of bacterial meningitis called meningococcemia. Initially, I had flu like symptoms so I didn’t think it was anything serious. I tried to get some rest and sleep it off, but something or someone, told me to stay awake. Then all of a sudden I couldn’t urinate despite drinking a lot of fluids and my bladder feeling full. I couldn’t feel my feet because they were suddenly extremely cold and numb. I stumbled as I walked and I became anxious and short of breathe within minutes. By the time I was in the ER I was unable to walk completely. The doctors and nurses couldn’t even take my blood pressure…  read more


Meningitis Survivor (12 days old) | Texas

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…  read more


Meningococcal Meningitis Survivor | New York

On July 11, 2011, feeling nothing worse than a bad cold, I became ill with meningococcal infection and eventually fell victim to septic shock, and nearly died. For me, the journey began on a Thursday – June 24, 2011 – in Albany, when I underwent a significant amount of dental work. What was intended to be a protracted procedure scheduled over several weeks was instead accomplished by two different dentists in approximately two hours. Two days later, a process which seemed to cause me no problems in the short run was now the source of great pain. By Saturday night, the pain became excruciating, and on Sunday morning, I called the dentist for direction on what to do next, and he prescribed an antibiotic. By this time, I was alternating fever and chills. I spent the next four or five hours passed out, and when I awoke, I had an…  read more


Meningitis Survivor (7 years old) | California

My name is Ashley Mason, and when I was just seven years old, I had Meningitis. I was living in Anderson, California, at the time. I was in second grade, going to school at Meadow Lane Elementary. One day at school I was sent home, due to a high temperature of 105. My mom took me to the emergency room, where the doctors simply said I had the flu and sent me home. I still had my fever, and when I woke up, wanting to lay with my mom, she told me to get up and walk to her, but I was too weak. She came and picked me up to lay with her. She looked me over to make sure I was okay, and that’s when she saw these marks all over me that looked a lot like bruises. She rushed me back to the emergency room, and the…  read more


Lost her son, Jeff, age 29

On Sunday, February 19, 2012, Jeff, a healthy 29 year old, had been in Charleston for the weekend and had felt a little tired, but disregarded it. Monday, 02/20/12 he called me at lunchtime to tell me he had a fever, his head and back were hurting and he felt like he had the flu. He went home from work at 2pm. I went to his house to check on him at 5:30-6pm. When I first arrived, he was warm to the touch, but the thermometer kept reading 98 degrees. After a while, I finally took his temperature from under his arm and it was 102.5 degrees. So I took him to an urgent care. The diagnosis at the urgent care was the flu, so he was sent home with meds at around 7pm. His major complaint continued to be his extreme headache, a backache and his fever. We both…  read more


Lost her brother, Michael, age 19

Michael was 19 and a senior in high school when he contracted meningococcal disease. He was battling a bit of a cold for a few weeks, nothing serious. Unlike most guys, he was pretty stoic about being sick. He’d just take medicine and go about his day. He was an exceptionally hard worker for a teenager, and he prided himself in his work. He was taking Japanese classes at a local community college, and he had a trip planned to go to Japan over the summer. He worked as an usher in movie theater. He went on a hike the day before he died. He was a healthy, active young man. On April 1, 2005 my parents got a phone call from the school nurse saying that Michael had the flu. He went home and laid on the couch for a few hours. He said his head hurt, but it…  read more