Eleven months ago my life almost ended. My family watched as I went from flu symptoms to being in a coma less than twenty-four hours later. My name is Alex, and seemingly out of nowhere I came down with Meningitis, Encephalitis, and Sepsis. While I was at school preparing to finish my sophomore year I began feeling very sick and was told that I had the flu. It is a miracle that I made it on 2 flights from Tucson to get home. While I was traveling home I told my mom and my friends that I felt so sick it felt like I was in a dream. When I arrived home, my mom knew something wasn’t right, but even being a nurse she did not recognize the signs that I may have Meningitis…I had my vaccine, so how could that even be possible?
The next morning I was not acting right. My mom told me that my toast was ready and I asked, “What is toast?” When she told me it was time to go to the doctors I asked her “what time is church?” and she knew something was seriously wrong. I was rushed to the ER, and thankfully my swift diagnosis literally saved my life. The doctors realized that I had Meningitis, Sepsis, and Encephalitis. This was a dire situation. The doctor told us to fly in my sister from New York because things did not look good. The disease developed very quickly, and within an hour I didn’t recognize anyone, including my own mother. I slipped into a coma very shortly after being admitted to the ICU.
After waking up several days later, I began to very slowly recover. I was sent home, but relapsed a month later having a grand mal seizure which I did not wake up from for twenty-six hours.
I know that I am so lucky to be here to share my story, and I hope that by sharing my experience I can make a difference. I lost a friend to Meningitis two years ago. I want everyone to be able to recognize the symptoms, and get help early. Let’s come together to bring awareness, research, and the availability of the Meningitis B-Strain vaccine to the United States. The vaccine that is currently given in the United States does not cover the Meningitis B-Strain. This is a disease that is affecting more and more college students and people every year, and it’s time to come together and put an end to it once and for all. Please help us start the journey, and donate today.