Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Brave Meningitis

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Brave Meningitis

Article excerpt


SHE was robbed of her legs and hand by a killer disease, but survivor Vivienne Bell is staying strong and hoping for a happier future.

Now two years after her life was devastated by meningitis and septicaemia, the 58-year-old says she is finally starting to get herself back to some kind of normality. In August the mother-of-three will undergo the last of a string of operations after the diseases ate away at the skin and muscle tissue on her legs, hand and fingers.

Back at home, after spending eight months in hospital, Vivienne said: "This has been extremely hard for my family, and it has taken a lot to get to this point, but it can be done. We are better than we were, and each tomorrow will be even better. I'm going to have plastic surgery to create a thumb so I'll be able to grip and hopefully I'll be able to get back to do the day-to-day things I used to do.

"Even being able to wash a few dishes and polish makes all the difference, and I can't wait to get out into the garden."

What started out as a sore throat and headaches quickly escalated and left Vivienne in a coma and fighting for her life.

I had wonderful On May 17, 2008, she'd gone to bed feeling unwell. But by 2am the next day she'd come out in a rash, called 999 and was put in an induced coma as medics fought desperately to save her life. After numerous tests, the mobile hairdresser, who lives in Washington with husband Richard, 63, was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis and spent nine weeks in a coma while her body was subjected to numerous drugs. Richard was told to before "and now was different.

every - that cope as prepare for the worst after his wife's health headed downhill fast.

He said: "The doctors took me to one side and said they were going to bombard her with drugs, and that it was touch and go for those first 48 hours. I stayed by her bedside and watched a dramatic change in her appearance. The purple rash had turned to black and it was everywhere, on her face, her hands, her feet. It was like someone had poured ink on her."

Richard and her children Jayne, 38, Richard, 34, and 27-year-old Sarah, waited in hope that one day they'd get their mum back. …

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