Mother warns parents of danger of meningitis
A Frome mother is urging parents to know the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia in the national charity's awareness week.
Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) has said that meningitis and septicaemia affect about 3,600 people in the UK and Ireland annually.
According to the charity, the two deadly diseases can strike anyone without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs.
Pauline Knowles, who recently won a lifetime achievement award for her dedication to her son, Nigel, said: "Nigel suffered permanent, serious brain damage which caused blindness, dystonia, poor concentration and poor short term memory.
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"I was told if his symptoms been recognised and diagnosed earlier, he probably would not have suffered serious, if any brain damage.
"I am thankful for his survival, but his life has been made difficult by the brain damage that resulted."
MRF explored the impact of the diseases in its project Counting the Cost of Meningitis and estimates that the life-long costs to the UK Government of medical treatment and ongoing care for a person seriously disabled by the disease are around £3million.
As a result the charity launched a petition last year calling on the UK Government to pursue the widest and earliest implementation of vaccines to prevent all types of meningitis and septicaemia.
To find out more about the symptoms visit the MRF website on www.meningitis.org or download the free iPhone App from www.bit.ly/MRFapp.