Lost his best friend, Josh | Illinois

I always feel that when writing a story that it has to have a happy ending. I guess in life we realize as we get older that it becomes less and less the case.

My best friend of 10 years passed away on August 25th 2009 of Meningococcal meningitis. He was 26 years old at the time. He was active, healthy… had tons of friends and was surrounded by people who loved him.

Josh W. Herbold was my brother and my best friend. He went into the hospital on Sunday, April 23rd with severe flu-like symptoms. It seemed to take days for the doctors to finally diagnose it as meningitis and by the time they did it was too late to do anything about it. My last words from Josh were not spoken… the last time I got to see him with his eyes open was that Monday. I told him that we were not going anywhere and that there would always be someone there and he shook his head “no” – I can only imagine him thinking that he didn’t want anyone seeing him like that. A tear rolled down his cheek and it took everything I had to not cry in front of him. I didn’t want him to see the pain in my eyes. I didn’t want him to see me cry. You see, Josh saved my life so many times in so many ways while he was alive that I would have given anything in that very moment to save his.

The part that makes this all even more difficult to handle is that none of us really had a clue as to what exactly Meningococcal Meningitis was or is. We had all heard of Meningitis but this was a whole new ballpark. Even if we had known I guess it wouldn’t have made anything easier. We would have understood more of what was going on.

On August 25th 2009 a piece of me died that I will never get back. Meningococcal Meningitis took it from me. I am not upset with the doctors… the hospital… I am upset that we live in a world that something like this can happen and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. I think it is time I try.

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