No-one in my organisation had ever heard of Encephalitis until it visited us in the most personal of ways. In September 2007, at 39 years old, a regular gym-goer, feeling ‘at my prime’ and with my company Upfront & Personnel booming and at its most successful I became ill and over the course of a 2 to 3 week period my condition deteriorated and no-one seemed able to diagnose the problem. Eventually following a seizure I was rushed to hospital and over the forthcoming weeks it was revealed that I had a condition called Meningo-encephalitis. So this was how my family, friends, staff and I discovered the impact that encephalitis has, not only on the afflicted person, but on all those around him or her.

After being discharged from the hospital I still had little to no understanding of encephalitis but after a search on the internet (and a few false starts with misspelling) I came across the Encephalitis Society, the only resource and charity of its type in the world. After devouring as much information as I could in my fragile state I realised I needed more personal information, relevant to me, so I picked up the phone and called the charity…

It transformed my life at that time, I was able to talk to someone who understood how I felt and what I was experiencing and could talk me through it and give me tips and advice on how to manage after-effects of Encephalitis and where to go for continued support from the NHS and professional medical staff.

I’m not fully recovered but I’m a heck of a lot better than I was and I know I’m much luckier than a lot of people who are hit by this potentially deadly illness. And now I’m in a position to help the charity that helped me and extended the hand of friendship when I so desperately needed comfort and support. My team at Upfront & Personnel are all happy to support and help me as we nominate The Encephalitis Society continues to be our Charity for 2010/2012.

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