Monday, 16 March 2015

Why I've never hidden my scars

Some scars are internal and not so easily seen, but today I'm not being quite so metaphorical. Today I'm talking about an illness that nearly took my life and left me covered in scars.

When I was little I had meningitis. I was 3 and was a healthy child. Until one day that changed our lives. My parents have told me stories of that day and I am in awe of how fast things can change and how strong they were. So here is the story from the beginning.

That day I had a fever and was covered in red marks. My mum thought it was chicken pox as it was going around and rung a family friend who happened to be a nurse to confirm. No one really knew what the test for meningitis was just that there was something about a glass involved. I started getting more and more ill and was taken to an emergency doctors.

When we arrived the doctor immediately diagnosed meningitis and called an ambulance. I was going straight to hospital. My mum, very heavily pregnant at the time, came with me and I was balanced on her as we laid in the ambulance. She said the experience was very weird with the blue lights flashing and the speeds she had no idea where we were. Not to mention the small ceiling height windows that only allowed her to see the large mast on the way there.

Once we got to the hospital it was all systems go and I was very quickly transferred to Great Ormond Street. I was in intensive care, being helped to breath and sedated. It must of been so hard for my parents. In the space of a couple of hours I was in a critical condition and there was a moment when my Dad just had to walk away from my bedside. He thought I was going to die. That day he decided he would name the lorry we were renovating at the time "Kate". For a man who is not usually emotional, when I read this I weep everytime.

So here I am 17 years on. I spent 7 weeks in hospital. I have scarring across both legs. Sometimes people stare but I don't care...

Because I am lucky: I have no lasting damage, I can use all my limbs. I have no brain damage at all. That illness didn't get me. Those scars show what a little fighter I was aged 3. I healed every single piece of skin without plastic surgery. So I wear what I like: shorts and skirts in the summer. And when people ask or stare I explain, (Although my friend did start the rumour that I'd been attacked by a shark for a while!).

Some are not so lucky, but with early diagnosis deaths and disabilities can be prevented.
Symptoms include:
A rash that does not fade under pressure from a glass
Fever, with cold hands and feet
Drowsy and difficult to wake
Severe muscle pain
Severe headache
Dislike of bright lights
Confusion / irritability
Stiff Neck
Convulsions and seizures

For anymore information take a look on the Meningitis Now website. Acting quickly and knowing these signs could save someone's life!

Kate xx


  1. This was an amazing post! I am glad you are okay and that the disease didn't left any marks being besides those scars. Those scars remind you of a battle you won. Of a victory of yours. You don't need to feel embarassed about them because they show what a warrior you are. You conquered something and you raised the cup! Cheers on you!

    Much love xx
    Catarina //

    1. Thank you. aww your words are so powerful. I will keep the thought of 3 year old warrior me for when I'm having rough days.

  2. So inspiring<3 I am beyond happy that you don't have any lasting damage. It is so beautiful that you embrace your scars as s sign of what you overcame and are not embarrassed by them. Our parents find strength in the difficult times and it amazes me how so.

    1. Parents are so incredibly strong and I'm very grateful. Thank you my lovely x