Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Girl dies from meningitis after mistaking deadly disease for hangover symptoms







A heartbroken mother has described how her daughter died from meningitis after she mistook it for a hangover.

Her daughter Jennifer Gray felt sick and suffered a mild headache after a night out with friends.

Just 24 hours later, she was in a coma after being taken to hospital by her worried dad Jamie.

after Jennifer died her parents were told she had bacterial meningitis, now her mum Edwina, 52, wants to educate young people about the disease’s symptoms.

She told the Daily Record: ‘Meningitis struck my family. It came for us like a bolt from the blue.

‘It is the worst possible thing to happen to someone who has an only child.

‘Now I’ll never be a gran. I selfishly think about that. I’ll never see her married. Maybe she was never going to be married because we didn’t get to see what the future held.

‘That opportunity is gone.’


Jennifer was in her third year at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in Paisley studying forensic science.

In early April, she suffered from a persistent cold with a sore throat and a cough, but she was still attending classes.

On April 15 Jennifer was out with friends when she began to feel unwell and left for home.

The following morning, she still felt sick and had a headache, sore joints and nausea.

But Jennifer and her parents assumed she had a bug or a hangover.

It was only after her symptoms worsened on Sunday, April 17, she contacted NHS 24 and was told to go to Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital.

But despite frantic efforts to save her, her condition rapidly deteriorated and soon she was declared brain dead.

Edwina, an occupational therapist, said: ‘Her symptoms were atypical. She didn’t have a rash. When she phoned NHS 24, that was one of the things they were asking her.

‘Even when Jamie took her to the out-of-hours GP, the doctor thought she had the flu.’

Edwina said she was stunned when she saw her daughter in the hospital an hour later.

She revealed: ‘I was shocked by the condition she was in. She looked horrendous. Within that hour since I last saw her, there was a rapid increase in symptoms.

‘The hospital said they hadn’t seen the illness move as fast as with Jennifer. She came in with vague symptoms and within hours, she was dead.’

Edwina said she was always aware of the threat of meningitis while Jennifer was growing up.

She continued: ‘When your kid is small and they’re unwell, that is one of the first things you think of.

‘But as a 21-year-old woman, who just seemed to have a hangover, it wasn’t something we thought about. I thought, ‘She’ll be OK’. But it was the opposite. It was a nightmare.’

After her death, Jennifer’s organs saved five people – even though Edwina and Jamie weren’t aware she was on the donor list.

She was also awarded a posthumous degree from UWS.

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