Survivor Dave doesn’t look back

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A CARNOUSTIE man who nearly died of childhood meningitis said he always looks on the positive side and thanked a local MP for supporting Meningitis Awareness week.

David Michie (21) was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia as a baby, and according to his mother it was touch and go whether he would survive.

Mum Sandra explained: “David was lethargic and floppy, shivering and vomiting and our GP, Doctor Gordon Crosby came to our house, looked at David and before we knew it we were arriving at A & E at Ninewells hospital where David was whisked out of my arms.

“We were then told they were taking him for a lumbar puncture but were treating him for suspected meningitis. Our world began to collapse at the very word.

“He was admitted to intensive care and at one stage there were around eight medical staff working on him, and then came the body blow when we were told he wasn’t expected to live more than an hour.

“As we sat watching all the medics work on him we saw the clock tick by and as the hour drew nearer the rash was spreading further over his body almost like someone dropping ink on blotting paper, the timescale was extended to two hours then to four hours then gradually increased hour on hour.”

However, David made a full recovery, and the ordeal is just a fading memory for him, he said: “I don’t really remember much, but my mum reminded me that I was obviously very lucky to survive.

“I walked into the consultant’s room at nine months old and his chin nearly hit the floor apparently, as I was not meant to develop fast or anything like I had.”

Today, David takes life as it comes, and is currently in Connecticut coaching at a football camp for young children, having completed an NC, HNC and HND Sports, as well as an Access to Uniformed Services course at Angus College, level three coaching in gymnastics and a National Pool Lifeguard Qualification.

He is also due to graduate from Robert Gordon’s University in December with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science, an impressive feat for a young man not expected to live beyond five months.

David added: “The illness was obviously pretty bad and my limbs were meant to be affected from it so it is a huge achievement for me to be able to coach and play sports, get my university degree and just be able to live the dream in America, coaching.

“It was never meant to happen so I don’t take anything for granted. I don’t really bring it up to be honest, if people ask about my scars I tell them but apart from that I just get on with it.

“It doesn’t affect me now but obviously when I think about it I’m lucky to be here so I do my best to see the positives in life.”

Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie has added his weight to the Meningitis Awareness week, a cause close to his heart after his father contracted it.

He said: “I still have a vivid memory of how my father looked when he was taken away on a stretcher and I’m very grateful that he made a full recovery.

“Few illnesses in the UK can cause such horrific injuries. Over the last twenty-one years, Meningitis Research Foundation has campaigned to improve early recognition of the diseases and improve treatment, aftercare and support.

“However, only prevention through immunisation can eliminate meningitis and septicaemia.”

David added: “It’s a big deal that Stewart Hosie has signed the Meningitis Awareness petition, and I’m really happy about that.”

The Meningitis Research Foundation recently launched ‘Counting the Costs of Meningitis and Septicaemia’. For more information about the campaign please visit http://www.meningitis.org/counting-cost-campaign.