'We are the lucky ones': Wellingborough mum to run marathon after baby daughter survives meningitis

Emily and her daughter Polly
Emily and her daughter Polly

A Wellingborough woman is running the London Marathon to say thank you for her daughter surviving devastating meningitis.

Emily Charter’s baby daughter Polly was taken to hospital with a high temperature and unusually mottled skin in July 2016.

Numerous tests showed she had contracted bacterial meningitis, but after a two-week hospital stay the brave youngster was allowed home to continue her recovery.

Emily, who is taking on the marathon for charity Meningitis Now, said: “Words cannot describe how you feel when being told your beautiful baby daughter has contracted meningitis.

“Polly was perfect in every way but our lives were turned upside down at just under four weeks old when we had to take her to A&E.”

The 31-year-old mother of two added: “Within hours of us being there, Polly was taken away, had numerous blood tests, a lumbar puncture, a cannula inserted and was on antibiotics.

“After a two-week stay in hospital, antibiotics and regular observation from the fantastic staff, we were told we could take our beautiful daughter home, hopefully with no lasting effects.

“We will be forever grateful for the treatment she received and are now enjoying watching Polly smile, grow, thrive and play with her big sister Millie after beating this terrible life-threatening and debilitating infection.

“We are one of the lucky ones and have come away from this with a beautiful, happy and cheeky two-year-old.”

Meningitis Now is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.

It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.

Kirsty Owen-Hayward, events fundraiser at Meningitis Now, said: “Thank you so much to Emily for supporting our work in this way. Seeing their child suffer is something no parent should have to go through and with your support we can fight back against this disease.

“As a charity that receives no Government funding we rely on the energy, initiative and enthusiasm of our supporters to continue our vital work and we are really grateful to all our runners and wish them all the best for this London Marathon challenge.

“For the many people who have been and continue to be affected by meningitis and for those who will sadly be affected in the future, Meningitis Now offers a lifeline. Support like this ensures that this lifeline can continue.”

Emily added: “Meningitis Now is a fantastic charity that is not only helping to try and stop meningitis but also providing physical and emotional support for people who have been affected and their families.

“I am so proud to be running in the charity’s orange this April. Please sponsor me and help change lives.”

Emily's charity page can be found at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EmilyCharter.