Meningitis teenager shares photos to raise awareness – BBC News
A teenage girl who nearly died from meningitis has shared photos of her rash-covered body in an attempt to raise awareness of the disease.
Charlene Colechin, 18, described how her organs failed, causing her “to die” until doctors managed to save her.
The hair stylist, from near Chesterfield in Derbyshire, has been in hospital for a month and spent nine days in a medically induced coma.
She still faces surgery to remove her toes and possibly her feet.
Speaking from hospital, Miss Colechin said she felt lucky to be alive.
“I was screaming because I was in that much pain,” she said.
“I kept throwing up, then I had a really bad headache like a migraine, and all my body was aching.”
How meningitis is spread
Meningitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
Bacterial meningitis is rarer but more serious than viral meningitis.
Infections that cause meningitis can be spread through:
- sharing utensils, cutlery and toothbrushes
Meningitis is usually caught from people who carry these viruses or bacteria in their nose or throat but aren’t ill themselves.
It can also be caught from someone with meningitis, but this is less common.
Paramedics were called out on 6 September but thought she had flu because she did not have any marks.
However, her condition worsened and marks appeared the following day, when paramedics rushed her to hospital.
“Within minutes I was on a drip in the ambulance on the way to Chesterfield Hospital,” she said.
“I was in a coma for nine days because all my organs were failing.
“I did die but obviously they brought me back.”
She is now waiting for tests to see what parts of her feet will need to be amputated.
“My heels are black,” she said. “That could mean dead tissue, which could be infected and which could go up my legs.”
She hopes that sharing her photos will prevent other people from the life-changing effects of the disease.