These stories are of children and young adults who have died of meningitis and septicemia. Over and above the common cause of death is the speed, the moments it seems, between the first symptoms and last breath and the extraordinary need to be more aware of this disease. The stories are here to help survivors - parents and grandparents - deal with the aching grief and to ease the suffering of others with the knowledge that they are not alone.
Michael Longo's mother, Kathryn Blain, tells his story:
In the beginning, meningitis can be so easily overlooked. On Thursday, Michael told me his back was hurting. We didn't think anything of it because he had been helping me with garden clean up for a day or two before. On Friday, he said he was feeling a little off, but not sick enough to stay home. That night he went to a party at a friend's. Saturday morning the tidal wave struck.
Tye's grandma tells the story of her grandson:
On Wednesday, Tye was playing in the park with his grandma. The next day he was lethargic but well enough to eat Popsicles and watch TV. The next morning, he woke and wanted to go outside but fell asleep again. That afternoon, he died.
It has been 4 ½ long months since we lost our beautiful son Matthew to this deadly disease. It has left our whole family in shock. Matthew comes from a large family; he has 4 brothers Chris 18, Jeffrey 13, Richard 10, Michael 8 and 1 sister Racheal who was 5. He also leaves to mourn 9 uncles, 8 aunts, 29 cousins, grandmas & grandpas, and of course his mom & dad.
Our son Brett was a first year Business Administration student at NAIT. He lived by himself in his own apartment, which he had just moved into in July. Before that he lived with his older brother Nicholas while he worked at PeBen Industries in Nisku. He was just getting into the swing of things at NAIT when he got sick. We, Bonnie and Bernie, live in Veteran which is a good three-hour drive south east of Edmonton. He called me at seven o´clock in the morning on October 4. He said he didn´t feel good, that he was sick the day before and he had gone to a doctor at the Doxx in the Kingsway Mall.
Desirea tells the story of her sister:
Bridgid M. Block
Desirea was only four years old when a bad dream woke her in the morning. Her nine-year-old sister was already very ill, even though she had been feeling fine, playing outdoors the evening before. The girls' mother still doesn't want to talk about that day.