A parent never wants their child to endure a medical issue, much less one as serious as bacterial meningitis. Unfortunately, Jay Aston – a singer from Bucks Fizz – has dealt with this terrifying situation. Her 18-year-old daughter Josie contracted bacterial meningitis, leading to her hospitalization and an induced coma. She has since woken up, and her family hopes she’ll be well enough to come home soon.
When Josie’s health started to decline, it was noticeable, as she was on a health kick and feeling great. One day, she began complaining about feeling unwell to her mother, who noticed she had a high temperature. A few days prior, Josie had mentioned joint pain, which everyone dismissed as growing pains – after all, she is 18 years old.
Jay sent her daughter to lay down in her bed, hoping some rest would make her feel better. This ended up being an unknowingly smart decision, with Jay saying,
“If she’d gone in her own bed. I don’t think I’d have a daughter.”
As the night went on, her symptoms got worse, progressing to the point that the family called 111 and asked for an ambulance. This ambulance never arrived, and by 3 AM, Josie knew that something was really, really wrong. She relayed this information to her mother, who turned on the lights to really look at her daughter. What she saw scared her.
There were four brown spots that formed on a rash on Josie’s arm, which Jay recognized from her husband’s battle with meningitis nearly 20 years ago. Immediately, she took her daughter to the hospital, where she was admitted with 20 minutes and treated for bacterial meningitis. At that point, the rash had spread to cover nearly every part of her body.
After a day and a half of this, the situation had gotten dire. Josie’s organs were failing. The doctors put her into a medically induced coma, For three days, they kept her under. For the next two days, she remained in a coma on her own. It wasn’t until two days after Mother’s Day that she woke up. Now, her family hopes that she can come home soon. She’s being treated at the King’s College Hospital in their specialist kidney unit after her kidneys failed.
If there’s anything that Josie and her family want people to take away from her story, it’s to be aware of meningitis. It’s a serious, fast-acting illness that requires quick intervention. Learn about the signs and symptoms with Patient Worthy.
About Bacterial Meningitis
As the name suggests, various types of bacteria are responsible for meningitis. This bacteria is spread from person to person in the majority of cases, but it can be passed through contaminated food as well. Because of this, meningitis is very common in tight living spaces, as it is much easier for people to spread it around. College dorms, barracks, and other tight quarters are often the spaces where outbreaks occur.
Beyond the risk factor brought on by the transmission of the disease, there are a number of other things that can put one at a higher risk of catching this infection. The major factor is age; babies are most commonly impacted by bacterial meningitis. Having certain medical conditions, such as HIV, also puts one at a higher risk.
The hallmark symptom is an intense headache, which is joined by nausea, stiff neck, fever, visual disturbances, and vomiting. Without prompt treatment, these symptoms can lead to complications like seizures, permanent brain damage, coma, and death.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s integral to get treatment as quickly as possible. Doctors will utilize steroids to reduce swelling in the brain, and then must figure out which type of meningitis you have. They do this through a spinal tap, which they use to test the spinal fluid, and by administering various medications that would treat all forms of meningitis. This means antibiotics, antivirals, and even antifungals. Then, when they are confident in the cause of your symptoms, they will remove the treatments that have no use.
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