My son, Henry, fell ill in April 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. His roommates took him to the ER with a 104 temperature. He was sent home after being given a chest x-ray and was told to come back if he got worse.
As Henry and his roommates didn't know the symptoms of meningitis, he thought he was getting better because his fever was lower. But he was also developing a rash, vomiting, and his neck was hurting.
Henry walked himself back to the same hospital a little more than 24 hours later at 3 am. Because his right side was going numb and he couldn't speak clearly, the doctor told him he was having a stroke. Henry was 21, about 5 foot ten and 137 pounds - this was no stroke.
Then they told him he was having a cluster migraine. They discounted the rash because it looked like Henry had been scratching it.
I drove 4 hours to Madison from my home in St Paul. By the time that I had arrived at the hospital, Henry had had a seizure and was comatose. Although the doctor finally decided it was meningitis, he had failed to call me to tell me.
Henry never regained consciousness and became an organ donor a few days later.
It was MenB. The vaccine came out 18 months after he died.
Henry's story has been told by his Mum, Meredith. Meredith is in a group called The MenB Strong Moms, a group of 4 incredible American women who, having each lost a child to meningitis, have come together to raise awareness of the disease.
To read another personal meningitis story from around the world, click here.
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