Helen Laing’s Meningitis Story

Meningitis Stories

Helen Laing had always dreamed of becoming a nursery nurse since the age of 14. She worked hard to obtain her qualifications and achieved her goal in January 2001. However, just a few months later in May, Helen fell ill and contacted her parents for help. Her father, Terry, made an appointment with the local doctor who diagnosed her with a virus and prescribed antibiotics.

Unfortunately, Helen’s condition did not improve. She experienced ongoing sickness and complained of feeling cold but also had a fever. Her family put her to bed, but her mother, Sue, woke up in the middle of the night to find Helen struggling to breathe. They immediately called an ambulance, and upon arrival at the hospital, a rash was discovered on Helen’s body. The doctors diagnosed her with meningitis.

Despite the best efforts of medical professionals, Helen’s condition deteriorated rapidly. She was placed on a life support machine but sadly passed away from a heart attack aged 24. In the midst of their grief, the Laing family received a letter of condolences and support from Steve Dayman, who had also lost a son to meningitis. This inspired them to get involved in raising awareness about the disease.

In the first 10 years after Helen’s passing, the Laing family organised a five-mile sponsored walk called ‘Helen’s Walk’. The annual event raised event rand other sponsorships raised over £100,000.

Terry also continues to manage a number of collection boxes in his local area. These boxes can be found in shops and attractions and serve as a means for people to contribute to the cause. Terry and now his late wife Sue supported Steve Dayman in many of his fundraising marathon walks and awareness campaigns

The Laing’s have created a special corner in their garden dedicated to Helen, where her ashes are buried. Terry emphasizes the significance of their fundraising efforts in memory of Helen and as a way to make a positive impact. He acknowledges that nothing can prepare a parent for the loss of a child, but the support they receive and the funds they raise contribute to the ongoing fight against meningitis.

The Laing’ hope that their efforts, along with those of others, will help eradicate this terrible disease.

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