The Government is being urged to do more for school-age survivors of meningitis.
A petition launched by the Meningitis Trust has been handed in to Downing Street. The petition is designed to get automatic assessments at school for children who have had meningitis, enabling after-effects from the disease to be flagged up early and the right support put in place.
One of the children chosen to hand in the petition was seven-year-old survivor Ellie Sutton from Witham.
The youngster fell ill with the killer disease when she was just eight-months-old. She was hospitalised for a month and suffered brain damage. Her family was told she would never walk and talk and she would need round-the-clock care.
Ellie has been left with mild cerebral palsy, epilepsy, verbal developmental delay and learning difficulties.
The Meningitis Trust’s campaign to get child victims of meningitis recognition and support for a better future was kick-started last autumn, when a major piece of research into the disease (meningococcal group B strain) uncovered the truth about its real impact on its young victims. It found that they are:
- five times more likely to have speech, communication and hearing problems
- four times more likely to have mental health problems
- six times more likely to have epilepsy
- significantly more likely to have memory and IQ problems
To find out more about the petition click here