Tara's Story

March 17th - March 24th
The scariest time of my life

I'm only 15, but already I have decided that nothing else is scarier than almost losing someone you love. My sister, Tara Budgell, 11 years old at the time developed Meningococcal Meningitis. I will never forget it, for it was the scariest time of my life.

I was at a friend's house, and my parents were invited to their friend's house for supper, just an hour away. I complained that I did not want to go but had no other choice. On the way down my sister complained of a head ache, she was not one to complain but she said it was just a headache so we thought nothing else of it. It was a long car ride, three children in the back and the youngest complaining of a headache. My brother, 12 at the time, kept picking on Tara (my sister), every little noise bothered her. We finally made it to dinner. She didn´t eat, this wasn´t unusual.  She wasn´t a big eater. My mom gave her some Tylenol and she went upstairs to sleep.  She woke about an hour later and vomited.

This was weird, we all thought that maybe it was the stomach flu? It got stormy out and we all insisted that we´d stay the night, but my dad refused. My sister was sick and there was no hospital close by, so we went on home. She lay on my lap the entire way home.

An hour later we were there, she went straight to bed, and I thought nothing more of it.

Not until about an hour later. My mom had gone to bed, my brother and my dad were out watching TV, and I was on the computer.  My sister and I shared a room but I wasn´t ready to go to bed for another hour or so. My mom suddenly got out of bed.  She said it was some sort of motherly instinct; she awoke and went to check on Tara.  She found her having convolutions.  She screamed to my dad and he said to call the ambulance right away. This was so scary; my mom said to keep her upright and not to let her lie down. Was I ever scared.

I gave her a teddy bear to hold on to and she didn´t speak, the ambulance got there in about 20 minutes.  They took her vitals and she didn´t know where she was.  I was in tears by now. They rushed her to the hospital, and we followed close behind, me, my dad and my brother. My dad called his friends where we were for dinner and they were there about the same time we got there. They took her right away; it seemed like hours before the doctor came into the quiet room. He said it, the words my mother was dreading.

"We believe it may be meningitis".

This was especially scary for my mom.  She had a neighbor die from this when she was younger. I had heard of it before, but not enough to know what it was all about. We went in to see my sister.  She was not responding to many people.  She spoke to me.  Of course it was nothing I could understand and she spoke to my mother's friend as well. It was so scary seeing her hooked up to machines and such.

We we´re there for a long time.  It was horrible. I didn´t know what was happening!

Was she going to be ok?  Did she need to have surgery? They went through the whole procedure.  She needed to have many tests done, I don´t remember exactly what, but a spinal tap maybe? I'm not sure.  I remember going home that night leaving my mom.

We had to go home and rest and gather things for my sister and mom, they assured us that she would be in the hospital for a while. I went home, and I prayed.  I was so scared!

We went back the next morning, she did have meningitis.

My mom was a wreck.  She was so worried!  I was too.  Our whole family didn´t know what was going to happen next.  I remember seeing her in the hospital room days later, and she was not herself.  Sick. yes, but it was something other than that.  We were scared too and it killed me to see her like that. She was so tiny, and it wasn´t far.

She was in the hospital for eight days, the worst 8 days ever! But she made it, she´s healthy, beautiful and the best little sister ever! Our prayers were answered and my little sister made it!  It only goes to show that at eleven years old girl Tara fought meningitis and came out healthy, she truly is an angel on earth :)

I thought I would share my story, for sometimes people take like for granted, but please do not forget how precious life is, cherish it.

Tiffany Budgell




Phone or Fax - (519) 664-0244
E-mail - fund@meningitis.ca
P.O. Box 28015 R.P.O. Parkdale
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Charitable Registration # 89751 8429 RR0001
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