Teenager saves girlfriend after spotting deadly meningitis

Echo: Westcliff teenager saves girlfriend after spotting deadly meningitis Westcliff teenager saves girlfriend after spotting deadly meningitis

A TEENAGE boy saved his girlfriend’s life after spotting the symptoms of potentially fatal meningitis.


Rachel Lucy, who turned 18 on Christmas Eve, thought she had flu when she began to feel ill while at her part-time job in Boots in Southend.
Her boyfriend Adam Kirkland, 19, picked her up and they went back to his home in Woodgrange Drive, Westcliff.


She decided to stay overnight but suffered blinding headaches and several bouts of vomiting.
In the morning she took a shower and it was then Adam noticed bruising on her shoulder - and small red spots on her body.


After pressing a glass against her skin and seeing the spots did not disappear he feared she had meningitis and called a paramedic who repeated the test and summoned an ambulance.


Following a 90-minute wait for the ambulance, the gravely ill youngster was rushed to Southend Hospital where medics battled to save her life for two days.
Her mum, Jacqueline Lucy, 49, of Fairleigh Drive, Leigh described the horror of finding her daughter had become so ill.

She said: “It was the day after boxing day while she was working that she became unwell.


“Adam called me and said he would collect her and look after her. I had had flu so we all just thought it was that. She stayed at Adam’s and I went around there at 9am the next day.


“By then Adam had already called the paramedic. My heart nearly stopped when I saw her. She was burning hot and delirious. We were told it could take up to two hours for the ambulance.”


Mrs Lucy added: “By the time we got her to the hospital she was much worse.
“They had to shut her body down and put her on a ventilator. She was moved onto the critical care ward. The doctor said he wasn’t going to deny we had a very sick little girl who could die.


“Luckily when they brought her round she was alright. She left hospital on New Year’s Eve and is now back to college. I’ve no doubt that Adam saved her life when we all just thought it was flu.”


Rachel, who studying A-level law, geography and sociology at South Essex College, said: “It was a nightmare but I’m feeling better now thanks to Adam. I definitely thought I just had flu.


“I didn’t know anything about this glass test and in any case I was too ill to think about anything like that at the time.”


Adam said: “I remember the signs of meningitis from my school medical room and realised it was that as soon as I saw the rash. I pressed a glass to her skin but the rash didn’t disappear.


“We waited an hour-and-a-half for an ambulance so I was very angry about that.”


A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust: “While a particularly high number of immediately life-threatened patients were being prioritised at this time, our service for this patient was not up to the standards we aim for. We will be investigating the incident to find out what happened and can use those findings to inform improvement plans.  We would urge the patient to contact us so we can speak to her directly about this.


“We would also reassure the public that we have a raft of improvements planned, including recruiting 140 new frontline staff, putting in better rotas and working closer with hospitals to reduce handover times.”

 

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:05pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Eric Whim says...

well done mate!
well done mate! Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Andy Hopkinson says...

Well done Adam from everyone at the Meningitis Trust in recognising the signs and symptoms of meningitis and taking such prompt action. We hope you're feeling better Rachel and we wish you and your families well for 2013.

Advice from the Meningitis Trust is not to wait for a rash before taking action if you suspect meningitis - it may appear late or not at all. Knowing all the signs and symptoms and trusting your instincts can help protect you and your loved ones. Visit the Trust website at www.meningitis-trust
.org to see all the symptoms or call our helpline on 0808 80 10 388 and request one of our wallet-size signs and symptoms cards - they can and do save lives.

If anyone is worried about meningitis please do get in touch.
Well done Adam from everyone at the Meningitis Trust in recognising the signs and symptoms of meningitis and taking such prompt action. We hope you're feeling better Rachel and we wish you and your families well for 2013. Advice from the Meningitis Trust is not to wait for a rash before taking action if you suspect meningitis - it may appear late or not at all. Knowing all the signs and symptoms and trusting your instincts can help protect you and your loved ones. Visit the Trust website at www.meningitis-trust .org to see all the symptoms or call our helpline on 0808 80 10 388 and request one of our wallet-size signs and symptoms cards - they can and do save lives. If anyone is worried about meningitis please do get in touch. Andy Hopkinson
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Fri 11 Jan 13

bumper says...

my daughter cam down with meningitis had it not been for a man staying next door to use on a holiday
camp site in Clacton on sea she would not be here today.
he noticed the symptoms and rushed here to the hospital and we caught it in time. she made a full recovery .
had it not been for the guy next door to use she may not be here today.
the gent will know who he is thanks for your quick thinking and help again always in your debt .

people need notice the symptoms
of this evil bug its a fast killer and can strike any were and time just glad this lad new what it was and what to do well-done mate ...
my daughter cam down with meningitis had it not been for a man staying next door to use on a holiday camp site in Clacton on sea she would not be here today. he noticed the symptoms and rushed here to the hospital and we caught it in time. she made a full recovery . had it not been for the guy next door to use she may not be here today. the gent will know who he is thanks for your quick thinking and help again always in your debt . people need notice the symptoms of this evil bug its a fast killer and can strike any were and time just glad this lad new what it was and what to do well-done mate ... bumper
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Fri 11 Jan 13

emcee says...

We are hearing so many of these ambulance "delays" and I hope the "improvements" to the ambulance service include sacking those directly resposible for making all these poor decisions of priority.
As each day passes I am dreading that I, or one of my loved ones, become so ill that an ambulance is required because I am losing so much faith in the service.
I am so happy that Rachel got through this but it was a tad off being such a different story.
It is only a matter of time, now, when we start reading that the East of England Ambulance Service will be responsible for deaths because they could provide the service that we ALL deserve and pay for. And this is not about money. After all, they have said they are going to employ 140 more frontline staff. Why was this not done eons ago? No, it is all to do with poor management and poor decision making.
We are hearing so many of these ambulance "delays" and I hope the "improvements" to the ambulance service include sacking those directly resposible for making all these poor decisions of priority. As each day passes I am dreading that I, or one of my loved ones, become so ill that an ambulance is required because I am losing so much faith in the service. I am so happy that Rachel got through this but it was a tad off being such a different story. It is only a matter of time, now, when we start reading that the East of England Ambulance Service will be responsible for deaths because they could provide the service that we ALL deserve and pay for. And this is not about money. After all, they have said they are going to employ 140 more frontline staff. Why was this not done eons ago? No, it is all to do with poor management and poor decision making. emcee
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Fri 11 Jan 13

MeningitisUK says...

Adam's fantastic quick thinking shows the need to know the symptoms of meningitis and act fast if you suspect someone has the disease - it can kill in hours and is more prevalent at this time of year.

You can find out all the symptoms information you need at http://www.meningiti
suk.org/meningitis/d
isease/meningitis-sy
mptoms.htm and order handy wallet-sized symptoms cards and posters. You can also order by calling 0117 947 6320 or emailing information@meningit
isuk.org.

Well done Adam, and we're hope you're feeling better Rachel.

We're committed to funding pioneering research into vaccines that will end the suffering caused by meningitis. Together we will stamp out this terrible disease.
Adam's fantastic quick thinking shows the need to know the symptoms of meningitis and act fast if you suspect someone has the disease - it can kill in hours and is more prevalent at this time of year. You can find out all the symptoms information you need at http://www.meningiti suk.org/meningitis/d isease/meningitis-sy mptoms.htm and order handy wallet-sized symptoms cards and posters. You can also order by calling 0117 947 6320 or emailing information@meningit isuk.org. Well done Adam, and we're hope you're feeling better Rachel. We're committed to funding pioneering research into vaccines that will end the suffering caused by meningitis. Together we will stamp out this terrible disease. MeningitisUK
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Fri 11 Jan 13

drofmor1 says...

how on earth was a gravely ill girl left waiting 90 minutes for an ambulance? Thank goodness the story has a happy ending. Well done Adam for spotting the signs and acting quickly..shame the ambulance service could not do the same.
how on earth was a gravely ill girl left waiting 90 minutes for an ambulance? Thank goodness the story has a happy ending. Well done Adam for spotting the signs and acting quickly..shame the ambulance service could not do the same. drofmor1
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Fri 11 Jan 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

well done that man.

but after a 15 minute wait i think i would have got to the Hospital by some other means, wonder if the paramedic stayed on scene and what was going through his head whilst waiting 90mins.
well done that man. but after a 15 minute wait i think i would have got to the Hospital by some other means, wonder if the paramedic stayed on scene and what was going through his head whilst waiting 90mins. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Fri 11 Jan 13

TrustMeIKnow says...

Well done for reading the signs and contacting the ambulance service.

The delays Not really the ambulances fault. They have been delayed at the hospitals as they don't have any space to put patients because the hospitals won't employ enough staff to have all the wards open!!!
Well done for reading the signs and contacting the ambulance service. The delays Not really the ambulances fault. They have been delayed at the hospitals as they don't have any space to put patients because the hospitals won't employ enough staff to have all the wards open!!! TrustMeIKnow
  • Score: 0

12:11am Sat 12 Jan 13

Point-of-view says...

It is brilliant that she has made a full recovery and well done for her boyfriend noticing the symptoms. So glad this had a happy ending.

I am in no way condoning the long wait for an ambulance BUT.... why did her family not take her to hospital?
Although in her case she would have been seen straight away......There is a common misconception that if you turn up to A&E in an ambulance you will be dealt with quicker than if you turn up under your own steam.
It is brilliant that she has made a full recovery and well done for her boyfriend noticing the symptoms. So glad this had a happy ending. I am in no way condoning the long wait for an ambulance BUT.... why did her family not take her to hospital? Although in her case she would have been seen straight away......There is a common misconception that if you turn up to A&E in an ambulance you will be dealt with quicker than if you turn up under your own steam. Point-of-view
  • Score: 0

9:50am Sat 12 Jan 13

helenmaria says...

I just logged on to look for something else and straightaway recognised Rachel as the young girl who was so helpful when i did my Christmas Shopping on one of the Boots Christmas advantage points evenings in December, she took the time & trouble to add up all my items to make sure i had enough to get the extra points and i remember her saying she was turning 18 on Christmas Eve.
All the staff at that Boots store are so helpful and friendly and i was thinking they she was another great asset to the team:>) so i was shocked to read she had been so ill but was so glad to read she has made a full recovery and her boyfriend noticed the signs of meningitis and got her to the Hospital urgently, he did really well.
I just logged on to look for something else and straightaway recognised Rachel as the young girl who was so helpful when i did my Christmas Shopping on one of the Boots Christmas advantage points evenings in December, she took the time & trouble to add up all my items to make sure i had enough to get the extra points and i remember her saying she was turning 18 on Christmas Eve. All the staff at that Boots store are so helpful and friendly and i was thinking they she was another great asset to the team:>) so i was shocked to read she had been so ill but was so glad to read she has made a full recovery and her boyfriend noticed the signs of meningitis and got her to the Hospital urgently, he did really well. helenmaria
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Sat 12 Jan 13

dinosaur1 says...

emcee wrote:
We are hearing so many of these ambulance "delays" and I hope the "improvements" to the ambulance service include sacking those directly resposible for making all these poor decisions of priority.
As each day passes I am dreading that I, or one of my loved ones, become so ill that an ambulance is required because I am losing so much faith in the service.
I am so happy that Rachel got through this but it was a tad off being such a different story.
It is only a matter of time, now, when we start reading that the East of England Ambulance Service will be responsible for deaths because they could provide the service that we ALL deserve and pay for. And this is not about money. After all, they have said they are going to employ 140 more frontline staff. Why was this not done eons ago? No, it is all to do with poor management and poor decision making.
Completely off the story I know, but while I agree with some of your post but not the part about it not being about money. The EEAS must make £50 + million of cuts over the next 18 months. That is a fact and no service can improve with such massive cuts in budget no matter how much spin you try to put on it. They may be employing more staff but they are not properly qualified paramedics or clinicians. There have been a lot of stories about the emergency ambulances recently and it seems to me that there is a choice to make here. The Fire service are well funded, well equipped and have a full compliment of properly trained staff. For that you will get a quick and professional response to an emergency, but many people are not happy with the fact that the flip side is that a lot of a firefighters time is spent not doing very much. On the other side of the coin you have the ambulance service. Underfunded, under equipped, understaffed and facing swingeing cuts, staff training takes place in their own time, voluntarily, and one ambulance in one shift could be sent to as many 999 calls as the local fire station responds to in one week. You get what you pay for. Well done Adam, you should be proud of yourself.
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: We are hearing so many of these ambulance "delays" and I hope the "improvements" to the ambulance service include sacking those directly resposible for making all these poor decisions of priority. As each day passes I am dreading that I, or one of my loved ones, become so ill that an ambulance is required because I am losing so much faith in the service. I am so happy that Rachel got through this but it was a tad off being such a different story. It is only a matter of time, now, when we start reading that the East of England Ambulance Service will be responsible for deaths because they could provide the service that we ALL deserve and pay for. And this is not about money. After all, they have said they are going to employ 140 more frontline staff. Why was this not done eons ago? No, it is all to do with poor management and poor decision making.[/p][/quote]Completely off the story I know, but while I agree with some of your post but not the part about it not being about money. The EEAS must make £50 + million of cuts over the next 18 months. That is a fact and no service can improve with such massive cuts in budget no matter how much spin you try to put on it. They may be employing more staff but they are not properly qualified paramedics or clinicians. There have been a lot of stories about the emergency ambulances recently and it seems to me that there is a choice to make here. The Fire service are well funded, well equipped and have a full compliment of properly trained staff. For that you will get a quick and professional response to an emergency, but many people are not happy with the fact that the flip side is that a lot of a firefighters time is spent not doing very much. On the other side of the coin you have the ambulance service. Underfunded, under equipped, understaffed and facing swingeing cuts, staff training takes place in their own time, voluntarily, and one ambulance in one shift could be sent to as many 999 calls as the local fire station responds to in one week. You get what you pay for. Well done Adam, you should be proud of yourself. dinosaur1
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Sun 13 Jan 13

andy:) says...

emcee wrote:
We are hearing so many of these ambulance "delays" and I hope the "improvements" to the ambulance service include sacking those directly resposible for making all these poor decisions of priority.
As each day passes I am dreading that I, or one of my loved ones, become so ill that an ambulance is required because I am losing so much faith in the service.
I am so happy that Rachel got through this but it was a tad off being such a different story.
It is only a matter of time, now, when we start reading that the East of England Ambulance Service will be responsible for deaths because they could provide the service that we ALL deserve and pay for. And this is not about money. After all, they have said they are going to employ 140 more frontline staff. Why was this not done eons ago? No, it is all to do with poor management and poor decision making.
My thoughts exactly, how long before someone dies as a result of the (Tory) cuts ?
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: We are hearing so many of these ambulance "delays" and I hope the "improvements" to the ambulance service include sacking those directly resposible for making all these poor decisions of priority. As each day passes I am dreading that I, or one of my loved ones, become so ill that an ambulance is required because I am losing so much faith in the service. I am so happy that Rachel got through this but it was a tad off being such a different story. It is only a matter of time, now, when we start reading that the East of England Ambulance Service will be responsible for deaths because they could provide the service that we ALL deserve and pay for. And this is not about money. After all, they have said they are going to employ 140 more frontline staff. Why was this not done eons ago? No, it is all to do with poor management and poor decision making.[/p][/quote]My thoughts exactly, how long before someone dies as a result of the (Tory) cuts ? andy:)
  • Score: 0

9:44am Mon 14 Jan 13

Walt Jabsco says...

dinosaur1 wrote:
emcee wrote:
We are hearing so many of these ambulance "delays" and I hope the "improvements" to the ambulance service include sacking those directly resposible for making all these poor decisions of priority.
As each day passes I am dreading that I, or one of my loved ones, become so ill that an ambulance is required because I am losing so much faith in the service.
I am so happy that Rachel got through this but it was a tad off being such a different story.
It is only a matter of time, now, when we start reading that the East of England Ambulance Service will be responsible for deaths because they could provide the service that we ALL deserve and pay for. And this is not about money. After all, they have said they are going to employ 140 more frontline staff. Why was this not done eons ago? No, it is all to do with poor management and poor decision making.
Completely off the story I know, but while I agree with some of your post but not the part about it not being about money. The EEAS must make £50 + million of cuts over the next 18 months. That is a fact and no service can improve with such massive cuts in budget no matter how much spin you try to put on it. They may be employing more staff but they are not properly qualified paramedics or clinicians. There have been a lot of stories about the emergency ambulances recently and it seems to me that there is a choice to make here. The Fire service are well funded, well equipped and have a full compliment of properly trained staff. For that you will get a quick and professional response to an emergency, but many people are not happy with the fact that the flip side is that a lot of a firefighters time is spent not doing very much. On the other side of the coin you have the ambulance service. Underfunded, under equipped, understaffed and facing swingeing cuts, staff training takes place in their own time, voluntarily, and one ambulance in one shift could be sent to as many 999 calls as the local fire station responds to in one week. You get what you pay for. Well done Adam, you should be proud of yourself.
Good post Dinosaur, I'd also like to add further to Emcee's comments that it seems nowadays that the Ambulance Service is perceived by the general public as more of a 'just in case' service. A Service with very small resources with ever increasing demand just cannot constantly be called out for non life threatening calls without much greater investment.
In this case obviously the patient was a life threatening call and I'm pleased she's alright - but the potential cost of not using the Ambulance Service correctly and underfunding is blatantly there for all to see as highlighted in this case.
[quote][p][bold]dinosaur1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: We are hearing so many of these ambulance "delays" and I hope the "improvements" to the ambulance service include sacking those directly resposible for making all these poor decisions of priority. As each day passes I am dreading that I, or one of my loved ones, become so ill that an ambulance is required because I am losing so much faith in the service. I am so happy that Rachel got through this but it was a tad off being such a different story. It is only a matter of time, now, when we start reading that the East of England Ambulance Service will be responsible for deaths because they could provide the service that we ALL deserve and pay for. And this is not about money. After all, they have said they are going to employ 140 more frontline staff. Why was this not done eons ago? No, it is all to do with poor management and poor decision making.[/p][/quote]Completely off the story I know, but while I agree with some of your post but not the part about it not being about money. The EEAS must make £50 + million of cuts over the next 18 months. That is a fact and no service can improve with such massive cuts in budget no matter how much spin you try to put on it. They may be employing more staff but they are not properly qualified paramedics or clinicians. There have been a lot of stories about the emergency ambulances recently and it seems to me that there is a choice to make here. The Fire service are well funded, well equipped and have a full compliment of properly trained staff. For that you will get a quick and professional response to an emergency, but many people are not happy with the fact that the flip side is that a lot of a firefighters time is spent not doing very much. On the other side of the coin you have the ambulance service. Underfunded, under equipped, understaffed and facing swingeing cuts, staff training takes place in their own time, voluntarily, and one ambulance in one shift could be sent to as many 999 calls as the local fire station responds to in one week. You get what you pay for. Well done Adam, you should be proud of yourself.[/p][/quote]Good post Dinosaur, I'd also like to add further to Emcee's comments that it seems nowadays that the Ambulance Service is perceived by the general public as more of a 'just in case' service. A Service with very small resources with ever increasing demand just cannot constantly be called out for non life threatening calls without much greater investment. In this case obviously the patient was a life threatening call and I'm pleased she's alright - but the potential cost of not using the Ambulance Service correctly and underfunding is blatantly there for all to see as highlighted in this case. Walt Jabsco
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Helpline says...

Well done Adam for remembering the symptoms of meningitis and acting quickly to help Rachel. Everyone at the Meningitis Research Foundation is glad to hear she's making a good recovery.

Our website at www.meningitis.org has lots of information about this disease and the after effects it can cause. Anyone who'd like information or support is welcome to contact us.
Well done Adam for remembering the symptoms of meningitis and acting quickly to help Rachel. Everyone at the Meningitis Research Foundation is glad to hear she's making a good recovery. Our website at www.meningitis.org has lots of information about this disease and the after effects it can cause. Anyone who'd like information or support is welcome to contact us. Helpline
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree