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Meningitis Lad: "Symptom Checker Saved My Life"

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 9:36am 18th September 2014 (Updated 9:38am 18th September 2014)

A Cornishman tells Pirate FM how he battled a killer disease that almost cost him his life.

Chris Peters from Redruth is backing a campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of meningitis.

He was just ten when he was sick over Christmas.

Doctors thought it was an stomach upset until his mum spotted a rash behind his ear: "If I'd gone to bed that evening without my parents checking me, I wouldn't be here today.

"I just thought I was unwell, I didn't really have any idea of the scale of how ill I was at the time. When I went into hospital I was in intensive care which is the high dependancy unit for 48 hours and that's when it kind of really kicked in that there must have been something seriously wrong.

"It's not like cancer; cancer's in the spotlight all the time and meningitis can be just as deadly.

"They might not all come at once; there's no set order either. They come and go. You might get some, you might not get others but it's all in a day; a day is the longest you've got to pick it up because it hits you so hard and so quickly."

Figures from the Meningitis Research Foundation show 100 people a year are struck down by meningitis in the south west.

Spokeswoman Gill Curry tells Pirate FM he was lucky: "Unfortunately around one in ten people will die and a quarter of survivors will be left with life-altering after effects, ranging from, anything from deafness to brain damage or even limb loss.

"Meningitis cases peak during the winter so that season is obviously coming up and children are actually at the highest risk followed by 16 to 24 year olds so it's vital that families know how to spot the early signs of the disease."

You can find the symptom checker that could save your children's life here.

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