A student is urging all young people and their parents to become more aware of the symptoms of Meningitis, after the potentially deadly disease changed her life overnight.
Catherine Dove had just started university, when she fell ill. It's taken her years to recover.
Watch this report by Charlotte Briere-Edney:
Catherine Dove was embarking on the next phase of her life; starting university, making new friends, studying hard.
Doctor's told her she'd be back at university the following week, but that didn't happen.
Before contracting Meningitis, Catherine had been an active teenager; going on mountaineering expeditions and rarely ill.
Along with babies, university students are one of the groups at highest risk of catching the disease. Teenagers and their parents have been urged to get to know the symptoms.
It's an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges).
It can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults.
It can cause life-threatening blood poisoning (septicaemia) and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.
Symptoms of Meningitis
a high temperature (fever) of 38C or above
a rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it (but this will not always develop)
a dislike of bright lights
drowsiness or unresponsiveness
Treatments for Meningitis
(Bacterial meningitis usually needs to be treated in hospital for at least a week.)
antibiotics given directly into a vein
fluids given directly into a vein
oxygen through a face mask
Steve Dayman, Founder- Meningitis Now
Catherine is finishing her studies. She hopes her stories will help other students be aware of the disease that could have killed her.