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Devastation to triumph: Family's meningitis journey

It's an illness that leaves many parents terrified but, despite years of publicity, it seems the early signs of meningitis can still be difficult to spot.

Lydia Cross from Braunton in North Devon lost both her legs to the disease - her sister Millie survived unscathed. The whole family have now become ambassadors for the Meningitis Research Foundation. The video above tells their story over the past 12 years.

Suspected meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency. Here are the early signs to look out for:

  • a fever, with cold hands and feet
  • vomiting
  • drowsiness and difficulty waking up
  • confusion and irritability
  • severe muscle pain
  • pale, blotchy skin, and a distinctive rash (although not everyone will have this)
  • a severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • convulsion or seizures

For more information, visit the NHS's meningitis information pages.

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Yellow warning for rain and thunder: Bob explains

Cars in heavy rain. Credit: PA

As the Met Office puts out a yellow warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms in our region tonight, our weatherman Bob Crampton explains the traffic light warning system:

"Yellow, amber, red - that's the grading of Met Office warnings. There has been some confusion on the whole warning thing. It is simple - a sort of traffic light system.

"It relates to severe weather - fog, rain, wind, rain, ice and snow; these are the categories. A yellow warning is to "be aware" of one of the categories indicated. Amber is getting more serious; its "be prepared", while red is the most serious. It's rarely used and warns people to "take action" to protect their own safety.

"Tonight a yellow warning will come into force because of heavy rain and possible thunderstorms. It's really a heads-up to watch out for surface water puddling on roads, flashes of lightning and any hail that comes with a storm. It's likely that the heavy rain and storms will be very localised and certainly not everyone will experience them. It's also difficult to pinpoint their path across our region.

"The yellow warning runs from 23:15 tonight until 22:45 tomorrow."

What is a 'pyramid scheme'?

Nine women have been convicted of masterminding a 'pyramid scheme' that conned 10,000 investors out of over £20 million.

How it worked:

The scheme operated around pyramid charts with 15 spaces on.

Each space was filled by a participant who paid £3000 who then had to introduce two friends who also paid that amount.

Once the chart was filled the 8 people at the bottom paid their £3000 to the person on top - who was called the 'bride' and after answering a series of simple questions was handed the £24,000 minus a £1000 fee split between charities (£600) and the committee (£400).

At this stage the pyramid splits allowing two new brides to move to the top of the pyramid and as long as new people keep joining this process continues. However in order for the Bristol scheme to be sustainable, every man, woman and child in the UK would have needed to take part.

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Devon councillor fights proposals to cut hospital beds

A Devon County Councillor has expressed her concerns following the announcement that health services in the county are to be reviewed.

Devon County's Clinical Commissioning Group has published a document which could mean the loss of some beds in Ottery St Mary and Axminster. A consultation period is now underway.

Councillor Claire Wright says she will be taking it up with a committee looking at the decision.

A year until Rugby World Cup comes to Exeter

Celebrations in Exeter a year to Rugby World Cup Credit: ITV West Country/Jacquie Bird

Sandy Park will be one of the 13 match venues for the world tournament in 2015. Exeter will host Tonga during the tournament and there'll be three games in its stadium.

For Chiefs players like Tom Johnson, who could be part of the England line up it's an exciting time. Schools in the city have pledged their support to the five teams who'll be playing there, Georgia, Italy Namibia, Romania and Tonga.

Police given more time to question 8 over slavery offences

Police have been given another 36 hours to question eight people on suspicion of human trafficking offences.

Eight suspected victims from the Czech republic were found during raids in Plymouth and Bodmin earlier this week. The men have been taken to a reception centre and are being interviewed by specially trained officers. Five women and three men arrested during the raids are being held in Plymouth.

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