Every time I hear or read the word meningitis, it makes me shiver, even though it's now 10 years since my daughter contracted pneumococcal meningitis.
Whilst my daughter was in hospital, we were warned that if she survived, she could be left with long term side effects. We found out that some children are left with obvious disabilities including epilepsy, profound deafness and limb loss (for those who develop septicaemia) and that others are left with less visible side effects such as learning or behavioural difficulties, co-ordination problems and headaches. As the disease affects the brain, it can impact on many aspects of a child's emotional and physical development. Thankfully, my daughter was only left with a minor hearing loss - many children are not so lucky.
My daughter was under the care of her hospital consultant for a year after she came out of hospital, and she still has an annual hearing test to check that her hearing loss remains stable. Unfortunately, I had no follow care up at all from my GP or Health Visitor. It was up to me to inform her playgroup/nursery/school about her hearing loss and my concerns that her learning and behaviour could be affected.
That's why I've signed the petition for the latest Meningitis Trust campaign for:
The automatic right for any child who has had meningitis to have timely and appropriate assessments throughout their academic life, to identify early what help they need and ensure they get it.So, I'm asking for you to sign the petition too, to help other children in the UK get the support they need throughout their school lives.
If you want to find out more about the symptoms of meningitis, visit the Meningitis Trust's website.
Image courtesy of the Meningitis Trust. Pin It