Meningitis could strike you, warns campaigning mum

MENINGITIS could have killed the daughter of a Warwick Gates woman who is determined to raise awareness of the deadly disease.

Luckily, Debbie Hoey was able to act quickly enough to get her 18-year-old daughter Jordan to hospital, where she was treated before it was too late.

Jordan, who was away from home and in her first year at Nottingham Trent University at the time, has now made a complete recovery and is looking forward to progressing towards the final year of her marketing degree this autumn.

But Mrs Hoey wants to do what she can to alert people to recognising the symptoms of the disease and, as part of her efforts, has organised a ‘toddle waddle’ in Leamington to raise funds for the Meningitis Trust.

She said: “Jordan had flu-like symptoms and was averse to bright lights. She called me up and I immediately recognised the symptoms of meningitis, so I called NHS Direct and they phoned for an ambulance.

“I am amazed that most people don’t know the symptoms, apart from the distinctive rash - but that is one of the last to appear.

“You can lose your life so easily. She was really lucky.”

Although Jordan was immunised against meningitis when she was a baby, the strain she contracted - the most common form of the disease - currently has no vaccine.

Mrs Hoey, who has three other children, said: “You don’t actually think it’s going to happen to your family. It always seems like something that happens to other people.

“Even after I had recognised the symptoms, we thought it would be an infection of some sort.

“I was shocked. You go into autopilot - you don’t realise how you feel until afterwards.”

Jordan was kept in hospital for a week and had to stay at her parents’ home and miss a few months of her studies while she was recovering.

Mrs Hoey said: “I hadn’t realised that you don’t get routine checks after contracting the disease. It had affected her concentration, hearing and sight and these could have been long-term effects.”

So far 55 toddlers and their parents are signed up to take part in the half-hour ‘toddle waddle’, which Mrs Hoey, whose youngest child, Thomas, is three, is hoping can take place in Jephson Gardens, on Monday April 23 from 10.30pm, to be followed by a picnic and games.

She thought the event, which will also be raising funds for Bath Place Community Venture, would be appropriate as the two groups most at risk of contracting meningitis are teenagers and under-fives.

Anyone wishing to volunteer to help at the event should email [email protected] and to make a donation, visit