A GLENGORMLEY teenager has warned her fellow students to be on the look-out for the deadly signs of meningitis.
Amy-Ruth Dunlop, who is starting university in Coleraine this week, was left in a coma after suffering the life-threatening disease five years ago.
And she has joined the Public Health Agency (PHA) in reminding students to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
Meningitis is the inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord, while septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease.
Amy-Ruth’s mother Madeline said: “In January 2007 Amy-Ruth was very unwell and at the beginning I just put it down to a flu bug; she had a temperature, a sore head, was vomiting and just wasn’t herself. I put her to bed and kept a close eye on her, but as the evening passed she became worse and I knew something was seriously wrong.
“I checked Amy-Ruth’s skin and I found a small, dark rash on her ankles that didn’t fade when I placed a glass on it. I immediately phoned my friend who is a GP, she gave Amy-Ruth an injection which, to this day, is what saved my daughter’s life. We took Amy-Ruth to hospital and within a matter of hours she had fallen unconscious. It all happened so fast.
“She was in a coma for several days and it was a very trying and traumatic time for us all. After a harrowing seven days and intensive antibiotics and treatment, Amy-Ruth eventually pulled through.”
Amy-Ruth was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia and viral meningitis.
She made a full recovery and actively promotes awareness of the infection through the Meningitis Trust charity.
Further information can be found on www.meningitisuk.org.