For Maria Sonwunmi, being told that she had meningitis and knowing she could die at any moment was the scariest thing she ever had to live through. Here she shares her battle between life and death.
“It all started in 2003, when I got a sudden stiff neck and was having severe constant headaches. I didn’t know why this was happening, but after experiencing double vision, I immediately went to the doctor. A lumbar puncture (the process of draining fluid from the spine) confirmed that I had contracted meningitis.
I was in hospital for a duration of three months. I had about 30 lumbar punctures because the fluid kept on accumulating in my brain.
I initially had doubts about my recovery, to the point that I almost gave up believing. But something played a huge part in my rehabilitation and kept me going strong.
Prior to becoming sick, I had attended the UCKG HelpCentre for a year. After moving out of London, I couldn’t find a UCKG near me at the time and stopped going.
It was during one of my many hospital stints that the members of the Patient Care Group (PCG) came to visit me. They are a group in the UCKG that specifically visit those who are sick in hospital or at home. This was the beginning of the tides turning in my life. Their regular visits with words of encouragement, prayers, support and care, as well as support from my family, helped to keep me going. I am also very grateful for the help that I received from the doctors who assisted me, until I was well again. Today I am in good health, I am happily married and life could not be better.”