A 21-year-old is lucky to be alive after he fought back from a near-fatal case of meningitis that he thought was food poisoning. Matthew Griffin, who said his symptoms started with vomiting after finishing his shift at a pub, was found unconscious on the hallway floor by his terrified parents, according to SWNS.
“I woke up too ill to go to university and stayed at home while my parents went to a friend’s birthday meal.” Griffin, 21, told British news agency SWNS. “I told my parents I’d be OK and I’d sleep it off. As the morning went on, I had an intense headache and my neck began to stiffen.”
Griffin, of North Worcestershire, England, told SWNS that he was throwing up “so hard my ribs were hurting and it was a dark green bile and I was dehydrating.”
Griffin said that by the time his parents got back, he was unresponsive on the floor and they immediately dialed for paramedics. He was rushed to the intensive care unit, where he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and placed on life support.
Bacterial meningitis is very serious and can be fatal in a matter of just a few hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those who do recover are at risk of permanent disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities from the infection. Patients are also at risk of developing sepsis. Symptoms to be aware of include sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, photophobia and altered mental status.
Bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics, but it must be done quickly. There are also vaccines available for three types of bacteria that can cause meningitis, which Griffin is urging others to get.
“So many young people are at risk of contracting this disease and are unaware of how serious it can be,” he told SWNS. “The effects can be devastating. I cannot thank the NHS staff enough for the care they gave me. They made sure I was safe and comfortable. I feel very lucky to be here in one piece.”
Griffin woke from a coma three days after turning 21, and couldn’t figure out where he was. When reality set in, he began his long road to recovery. He told SWNS that he plans to return to his studies after Christmas, and has a new outlook on life.
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