Rodrigo, Instituto Pedro Arthur
Our son was victim of pneumococcal meningitis in 2004.
With Pedro Arthur just starting to take his first steps, what appeared to be a sinus infection was diagnosed as meningitis – with fever, vomiting and seizures. He was in a coma for two weeks, waking up to the consequences that would change his life, his family and friends. He remained hospitalised for seven months before coming home.
We were very scared. We did not have any information about the disease and vaccines were only available in private clinics.
Pedro Arthur is now a quadriplegic and breathes through machines, but in his case the bacteria damaged the spinal cord without affecting his brain. He suffered paralysis of his limbs and diaphragm but his cognitive functions were not affected.
Today, we live in search of a better life for our son. We are sure that he will walk again.
The Instituto Pedro Arthur is a tribute to him, who in his struggle to survive a personal tragedy has become an example of love, faith and helping others. We are excited to build an institution working to enlighten, educate, strengthen and mobilise Brazilians to demand the right of children to get free vaccinations against meningitis.
Rodrigo set up Instituto Pedro Arthur in Contagem, Brazil.
To read another personal meningitis story from around the world, click here.