Meningitis Survivor | California

Friday, April 9, I was working in my garage. Suddenly I felt drained of energy. I got super cold. I was shivering and felt like I wanted to throw up . I thought I had food poisoning for sure. I went to the bathroom and forced myself to vomit, which I did very violently. I could not get warm.

At 2:00 AM I woke up gasping for air. It felt as if a five hundred pound gorilla was sitting on my chest. I knew something was seriously wrong; however I was not able to put my shoes on. I asked my wife to help me, and then she drove me to the emergency room. After tests for swine flu and pneumonia were negative, I was placed in I.C.U. The doctors did not know what was wrong with me. My breathing became weak and I was placed on a breathing machine. I was placed in a drug induced coma for 4 days. During these four days I had two surgeries. One surgery was for removing fluid from my lungs. The second was to remove fluid from around my heart. I also developed a high fever and was covered with ice packs. There were 4 tubes coming out of my chest and at least five IV tubes in my arms.

The doctors told me I was extremely lucky to not have had permanent damage. I did not lose my hands or feet. But I feel I cheated death this time and I am grateful for each day I have left. The Los Angeles Department of Health interviewed me where I had been the week before I caught this. A cough or a sneeze can do it.

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