Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Poor Jennifer was unaware of this bacteria’s fatal presence in her body.
Jennifer Gray, 21 and a student of forensic science at the University of the West of Scotland, felt unwell after a night out with friends but thought her condition to be a hangover. She had a severe headache and joint pain the next day and couldn’t survive after a few hours in coma. Only after she expired did her family and the hospital find out the real cause.
Jennifer had a sore throat and cough for a while but was otherwise living a normal life. Edwina, her mother, said: “Her symptoms were atypical. She didn’t have a rash. When she phoned NHS 24, that was one of the things they were asking her. Even when Jamie took her to the out-of-hours GP, the doctor thought she had the flu.” Doctors were shocked at how rapidly the infection had taken her life.
The young girl’s organs were donated to 5 people and she received a posthumous degree from her university. May her soul rest in peace.
“Meningitis struck my family. It came for us like a bolt from the blue.It is the worst possible thing to happen to someone who has an only child. Now I’ll never be a gran. I selfishly think about that. I’ll never see her married. Maybe she was never going to be married because we didn’t get to see what the future held”, her mother sobbed. She and Jennifer’s dad Jamie are determined to raise awareness among people about bacterial meningitis so that no other family may experience the mishap they had to face. They are also collecting funds for meningitis research, using their Facebook page “Jenn’s Tartan Army” as a platform to interact with people all around the world. They have been successful in raising £10,000 already.
Symptoms of meningitis include high temperature, headache, stiff neck and a dislike of bright colors. The bacteria is transmissible through sneezing, coughing, sexual intimacy and sharing utensils and other personal items and there are multiple kinds of vaccines for its treatment.
Meningitis is extremely dangerous and brings with it lifetime health issues including a weak vision, memory loss, hair loss and epilepsy. It is thus crucial to differentiate its signs from routine fever so that no more children and young adults be victims of its lethality.