Girl complains of headache, dies of meningitis 5 days later

Can you imagine thinking your daughter has the flu only to find out that she actually has bacterial menengitis and dies five days after her first symptom? Sadly, this is exactly what happened with 12-year-old Jewel Knight last week. On Tuesday she complained of a headache, on Thursday she was sent home from school with flu-like symptoms and on Sunday she was dead.

Jessica went home from school with a stiff neck, backache and a throbbing headache. Her parents treated it like they would the flu: giving her Tylenol and keeping her hydrated. But Jewel wasn't getting any better. By the time she got to the hospital her parents were told her brain activity was deteriorating, she was airlifted from Stockton to Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, it was too late. Jewel was brain dead. 


I don't know a lot about bacterial meningitis, but every time I hear those words, I remember one of the saddest stories I've ever heard. And it's not too different from that of Jewel.

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It's the story of one of my husband's nieces who was only 5 years old when she got bacterial meningitis. Her parents thought she had the flu too. Since she wasn't getting any better, they took her to her pediatrician who agreed with them and sent her home. Unfortunately, she didn't get any better and by the time they ended up in the ER, it was too late. The little girl died and her parent's were never able to cope with her death, which ended up destroying their marriage and diving their families as blame was thrown back and forth.

Remembering the story always makes me sad, but it also makes me scared that my children could show flu-like symptoms and have bacterial meningitis instead. That's why if my kids ever complain of a stiff neck, I'll be rushing them to the ER, even if that makes me sound crazy! 

Image via KCRA

Topics: death  diseases  children