Couple from Frampton Cotterell lend support to Thornbury's Meningitis Research Foundation
A HUSBAND and wife from Frampton Cotterell are sharing their first-hand experience of meningitis and sepsis to raise awareness among their community.
Nick and Wanda Knight have been forced to make major changes to their lifestyle after Wanda contracted Meningococcal meningitis and sepsis in 2006.
After not being diagnosed correctly straight away, Wanda has been left profoundly deaf.
Mr Knight said: “My wife was in her mid fifties when from nowhere she contracted Meningococcal meningitis and sepsis.
“Not initially diagnosed, it was only when she became very ill that the correct treatment was given. Wanda was left profoundly deaf as a result and has had to make major adjustments.”
Mr Knight said he and his wife wanted to help raise awareness of the symptoms of both meningitis and sepsis and are supporting Meningitis Awareness Week, which runs from September 16 to 22.
“Meningitis and sepsis are diseases you never expect to happen, but when they strike they can be devastating not just for the person who falls sick, but for all their loved ones, family and friends,” he said. “That’s why we’re supporting Meningitis Awareness Week. Everyone needs to know about these diseases.”
Thornbury-based charity Meningitis Research Foundation estimates that meningitis and sepsis affect approximately 10 people in the UK and Ireland every day.
They are deadly diseases that can strike without warning, killing one in 10, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs. Children under five and students are most at risk but the diseases can strike at any age and not all forms are currently covered by vaccines.
Chief executive Chris Head said: “Meningitis is a hot topic in the UK and Ireland right now because a new vaccine for Meningococcal B infection (Men B) is currently under-consideration, but may not be introduced because of costs. We are extremely disappointed by this and campaigning hard for a change of heart.
“Vaccines have almost eliminated some types of meningitis but not all of them so people need to be aware that meningitis and sepsis present a very real threat to people of all age groups. Being aware of the symptoms and acting fast is essential to saving lives.”
Symptoms of meningitis include a headache, stiff neck, sickness, fever, an inability to tolerate lights and loud noises and a rash. Sepsis sufferers will exhibit signs of either a fever or hypothermia, confusion, an elevated heart rate and rapid breathing.
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