Inspirational Brighton dad who lost his legs and hands during meningitis battle is helping other amputees
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A Brighton dad who contracted meningitis and had his legs and hands amputated has told how his wife and son were told to say goodbye.
Determined Mike Davies survived and has adapted to life after limb loss and has now shared his experience via online videos as part of a new peer support service.
Mike, 62, and his wife, Julie, had just moved to Brighton from Manchester when he contracted bacterial meningitis on Christmas Eve 2017. Mike spent 10 weeks in intensive care the Royal Sussex County Hospital, where he endured the amputation of his legs and hands in order to save his life.
Looking back, Mike said: “I was mostly unaware of what was going on but my family had it tough. My wife Julie and my grown up son Rory were told multiple times that I might not make it, so they should say goodbye.”
Fortunately, Mike survived and went on to spend the following months at Queen Mary’s University Hospital, Roehampton, learning to walk on prosthetic legs.
He added: “I was determined at the outset to be the best version of me that I could be. To go to rehab and work hard at everything, so that I could be as independent as possible. To surprise people, and to lift as much of the burden as I could from my family.”
Over the years Mike has adapted to life after limb loss, and can now do many of the things he did before – including driving. “You should see people’s reaction when they see someone with no hands or legs get into the driver’s seat!” he said.
Mike has shared his story of recovery to help launch Meningitis & Me during this year’s Meningitis Awareness Week (13th – 19th September). Designed to help other people living with amputations, the series of online videos offering practical tips and advice has been launched by the charity Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).
As well as offering practical tips for fellow amputees on the online videos, Mike speaks about the mental challenges of life after meningitis, and provides advice for coping with depression.
Rob Dawson, director of communications, advocacy and support at MRF, said: “Mike is an inspiration to us all, whether or not we have suffered limb loss. We know that his story, and the other stories featured on our new Meningitis & Me platform, will provide invaluable advice to people living with amputation and their families.”
Mike now has a motto he lives by. “I never say I can’t,” he says. “I only ever say, how can I?”
Freely available to all, Meningitis & Me enables those affected by meningitis to share their experiences, tips and advice. It has been launched as part of Meningitis Awareness Week to raise awareness of the impact that meningitis can have.
The project is funded by the Big Lottery Community Fund.
One of Mike's videos can be watched within this story but to see all of the Meningitis & Me videos, visit www.meningitis.org/meningitis-and-me