A CARNOUSTIE mother is urging parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia.
Sandra Michie has firsthand experience of this because her son David contracted meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia when he was just five months old.
Speaking out in support of Meningitis Awareness Week which runs from September 17 to 23, Sandra said: “He was lethargic and floppy, shivering and vomiting and before we knew it, we were arriving at Ninewells A&E where David was whisked out of my arms.
“He was admitted to intensive care and we were told he wasn’t expected to live more than an hour.
“The illness was an absolutely horrific experience, but David has gone from strength to strength since then and graduated from Robert Gordon University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports and Exercise Science and he is now pursuing a career in London in sports coaching.
“Having attained additional qualifications on top of his degree in coaching swimming, gymnastics and football, the latter which lead him to a dream post in 2011 of coaching football in America, where he met his girlfriend, Jaimie-Lee from London, who was also coaching football.”
According to the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) meningitis and septicaemia affect around 3,600 people per year in the UK and Ireland, and can strike without warning, killing one person in ten and leaving a quarter of survivors with a range of life-altering side affects.
In their ‘Counting the Cost of Meningitis’ project the MRF estimated the lifelong cost to the government of medical treatment and ongoing care disabled by the disease is around £3 million.
Mary Millar, Scotland manager at MRF said: “There is currently no vaccine for meningococcal B disease which is responsible for the majority of cases of disease in the UK and Ireland.
“Nearly 18,000 signed our petition and it has been presented to 10 Downing Street, so thank you to everyone who supported us.
“However we must remember that vaccines do not prevent all strains of meningitis and septicaemia yet, so it’s vitally important that the community in Angus and Dundee are MeningitisWise and remain aware of the symptoms.”
To find out more about the symptoms visit the MRF website on www.meningitis.org or download the iPhone App from: www.bit.ly/MRFapp.