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