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Swansea University student’s suspected Freshers’ Flu actually turned out to be meningitis

Levi Lawrence, 21, was left using crutches for months


A first year Swansea University student who dismissed his flu-like symptoms as Freshers’ Flu discovered he was actually suffering from meningitis.

Levi Lawrence, 21, said he had been “feeling under the weather for a few weeks” and dismissed his symptoms as Freshers’ Flu, WalesOnline reports.

However, after he started vomiting and feeling confused one morning, Levi was rushed to hospital by his housemate. At the hospital he was diagnosed with a meningococcal infection that had turned into sepsis, and had to remain in hospital for 10 days.

The psychology student said that the infection affected his legs, leaving him on crutches for weeks after he was discharged and that he still experiences “electric shock-type pains” in his legs now

Levi told the BBC how grateful he was to his housemate for taking him to hospital, saying: “I think she did save my life. If she wasn’t there I probably would have died, or they would have had to amputate my legs.”

Levi has since recovered and is now in his second year of university in Swansea.

He encouraged all students to be more aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis to ensure it can be caught early. He also recommended students ensure they’re up to date with childhood vaccinations.

According to the NHS, symptoms can develop suddenly and most commonly include a high temperature, vomiting, headaches, and a rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it.

Public Health Wales is now urging students to check they are up-to-date with any childhood vaccinations to reduce the likelihood of catching a serious illness like meningitis.

The head of the vaccine preventable disease programme at PHW, Dr Chris Johnson said: “It’s really important that young people make sure they get these vaccines, which protect them from serious illnesses and allow them to get on with enjoying this new phase of their life.”

He also noted that “serious infectious diseases often circulate among young people starting university.”

Feature image via Facebook.

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