home the disease catching it symptoms the rash actions
effects prevention support about us the video
 
 



Tom




Eliza



Donna with Cassy at 5 years



Kimberley



Daisy



Travis




Jack Newton

Stories

We wish to thank the following people, who have generously shared their experiences with us in the video, to help save lives.

TOM, AGED 20
Tom was a university student and passionate guitar player when he contracted meningococcal septicemia on his 19th birthday – losing both arms and both legs, and spending one year in a rehabilitation hospital. Fiercely independent, he now lives in a unit and is continuing his studies.

ELIZA, AGED 21
Eliza also had meningococcal septicemia when she was a 16 year old student, losing her legs and some fingers. She later took up wheelchair sport, to become a multi- medal winning Paralympian champion, and speaks at functions to spread awareness of the disease.

CASSY, AGED 5 (AND MOTHER, DONNA, GRANDMOTHER, DIANE)
Cassy caught the disease at the age of 15 months, while she was spending a night with her grandparents. They rushed her to the hospital just as the first signs of the rash started to spread over her body – and that prompt action saved her life. Cassy lost her fingers and toes, and has endured many subsequent operations and much pain, but she's now smiling again.

Says Donna: "If someone hadn't told me the signs to look for, and I hadn't passed that information on to my own parents, then Cassy wouldn't be here today."

KIMBERLEY, AGED 7 (AND MOTHER NANCYLEE).
Kimberley was 6 when she contracted the disease, losing some fingers and toes, and suffering many operations and skin grafts.

DAISY, AGED 12 (PLUS MOTHER JANE AND FATHER REG)
Daisy was in Year 7 when it happened – and although it progressed to the early stages of the rash, she was fortunate enough to make a full recovery with no permanent physical effects.

TRAVIS, AGED 19.
Young footballer Travis had come to Sydney from Perth to try out for a team, when some of the boys became ill. When Travis first had the symptoms he thought it was the flu. He was hot and cold, and shivering. He went to take a shower – but didn't come out. Fortunately, the mate he was staying with wondered why Travis had spent half an hour in the bathroom, and broke the door down to find him collapsed on the shower floor with the water still running. He had a red spot on his leg which they thought was an ingrown hair (footballers shave their legs) but later found out was the beginning of the rash. They rushed him to hospital just in time – half an hour later, said the doctor, and he probably wouldn't have been here.

JACK NEWTON, AGEN 55 (CHAMPION GOLFER)
Jack had thought this was a disease that only targeted children. Coupled with this, he believed you had to get a rash if it was meningococcal disease. So when he experienced many of the other symptoms, including severe headache, sensitivity to light and vomiting, at first he didn't suspect meningococcal disease. When they called in the locum, he diagnosed a virus. Fortunately, Jack's wife Jackie had a gut feeling that something was very wrong, and called another doctor. This time her fears were confirmed. Jack was lucky to have suffered no permanent disabilities as a result of the illness, but it left him tired and weak for a long time.

SUE-ANNE & MICHAEL SANIG, WHO LOST 7 YEAR OLD STEPHEN

Stephen was perfectly well at school that day, and full of energy when he arrived home. Later he put on a jumper and said he was cold. In fact, he was very hot. That evening his parents took him to the hospital with fever, rapid breathing and severe pain in his joints and chest – they thought he was having a heart attack. He was diagnosed with ‘gastro-enteritis and flu symptoms’. He deteriorated during the night and at 4am his parents rushed him back to the hospital – but he died at 8.40 am.





Stephen Sanig, at age 7