My family was like anyone else's family with all the usual laughs and pitfalls that happen to us all. Until that is, one dark day Meningitis swept through our door with menacing efficiency taking with it the life of my only son Lee.
Lee was almost 18 years old and he was taken ill in the ambulance taking his grandmother to the St. Margaret's Hospice in Clydebank, so ill was he that he could not wait until she was settled but insisted on being taken home immediately.
The doctor was called in and diagnosed gastro-enteritis and told us to keep Lee in bed and give him liquids. This we did, however, in the morning his condition had deteriorated so much that he was purple, and blue, hallucinating, sweating buckets.
The emergency doctor was called and immediately called an ambulance to take Lee to Ruchill Hospital, however, his condition deteriorated so swiftly that Lee died in the ambulance on the way to hospital.
The problem with many cases of meningitis is that it is so very difficult to diagnose until it is in some cases too late.
Our son was a fit, healthy young manwhom we always joked that germs would be afraid to go near him as he had never had a days illness in his life, but we were so very wrong. Meningitis brought him down in just a few hours.
You are in a state of complete and utter shock, and you think that if someone pinches you, you will happily wake up and find that you have been dreaming. Not so, it is all so dreadfully real and you have to face up to reality that your only beloved son is no more.
No more will you hear the cry, "Mum, I'm home", when he comes home from work, or the inevitable call Mum, I'm hungry". Now only silence permeates the house, and all you have left is treasured memories.
Prior to these distressing events, meningitis was just a word that you might hear on a television news bulletin, or you read about in a case in the morning newspaper. It does not concern you, so you pay no attention, until the day dawns and it comes sweeping through your own door and makes you sit up and take notice.
The dreadfull part of it all was that no one gave us any information. We were left completely in the dark and just had to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives and get on with it.