Two Neighbours And Their Fights With Meningitis

Written 8 months ago by Angel Croitor

Mick Kenny, Meningitis Research Ambassador and survivor from Delvin, and Dina Burke, a mother of nine year old meningitis survivor Anthony, spoke to Hannah Murphy on Midlands Today about their close call with Meningitis.

“It started off with a mild headache on the Sunday night – as the night progressed it got worse and worse.”

Mick suffered from meningitis and septicaemia in 2001 at the age of 51. When he had returned from a CAT scan in the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar he fell unconscious on the Monday and didn’t come to until Friday evening of that week. During that time he was left on life support and his family had been told he wouldn’t see past 12 that night.

“They had to tie my hands to the bed – still the pain was showing.”

The medical staff believed that with the pressure that the organs were under they didn’t believe he would make it. He recalls being horrified that he was so close to death.

For days after Mick didn’t know where he was and had to have his family feed him. As the days went along he regained his energy and the ability to move about as he could before.

Dina Burke, mother of nine year old Anthony, simply believed that her child was being fussy or suffering from some physical uncomfort newborn’s generally fuss about.

“He was very light sensitive – I thought it was a two week old thing – coincidentially Mick and his wife were flying out to America that morning.”

They brough Anthony out in to the fresh air and he still hadn’t settled. Dina brought two-week old Anthony to the doctor as he was suffering from reflux and kept having troubles with breathing.

“He said – ok not to panic you but you’re going to be rushed straight to Crumlin – I was going okay? What’s happening now? Within two hours he was brought down for a lumbar puncture.”

To Dina, she tell us, it wasn’t a moment to panic but she was so stressed with motherhood that she was still in a fog during that time.

Both Mick and Dina are advocates of vaccinating for meningitis as certain strains are not covered by the older vaccinations. Dr. Sumi Dunne has brought forward reports that show three people have died from the bug in the last two weeks.

She says the B strain has only been introduced to the Childhood Immunisation Programme in recent years, meaning a number of young people may not have the vaccine.

You can hear the full interview up above.