Meningitis survivor’s mom pushes for MenB vaccine introduction in Ireland

Courtesy of
Stephanie Casey, the mother of Meningococcal B meningitis and septicaemia (MenB) survivor Emily Casey,  shared her daughter's story with the public during Ireland's Meningitis Awareness Week this week. 

“It is 15 years ago since my (then 4 year old) daughter Emily had MenB, resulting in devastating consequences including acquired brain injury and two years spent in hospital,”  Casey said. “MenB has given Emily 15 years of ongoing disability and suffering.”

An estimated four cases of MenB are diagnosed in Ireland each week, according to the country's  Meningitis Research Foundation. MenB is deadly and develops without warning. The illness kills 1 out of every 10 people it infects; and 1 out of every 3 survivors spend the rest of their lives with severe after-effects such as deafness or loss of limbs.

Anyone can contract the illness, but young adults and children who are younger than 5 years old have the highest risk.

“Meningitis took away my speech and movement for a long time,” Emily Casey said. “I began to whisper words after seven weeks in a coma. Now I can speak and move my hands, but I can’t walk and am confined to a wheelchair.”

The Caseys are pushing for the MenB vaccine to be introduced in Ireland to protect other children and families from the dangerous disease.

Organizations in this Story

Meningitis Research Foundation

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