‘I was panicking ... I didn’t think I would ever feel normal again’

Rosie Strong and Gary Griffiths SUS-170913-143949001
Rosie Strong and Gary Griffiths SUS-170913-143949001

A bride-to-be feared she would ‘never feel normal again’ after suffering for two years from the after-effects of viral meningitis.

Rosie Strong, 28, was left exhausted and depressed, and suffered violent headaches and sleepless nights. She found it difficult to carry on with her job as a groom and dog-walker.

In desperation, Rosie, from Billingshurst, turned to the charity group Meningitis Now and within weeks of undergoing new treatment found herself “pretty much completely cured” after two years of suffering.

The charity arranged a course of cranial osteopathy for Rosie, who also had acupuncture, and she has now been given back her energy in time for her wedding to her fiance - horticulturalist Gary Griffiths - in January.

Rosie’s illness started suddenly. “I was feeling quite unwell. I had a headache and felt really cold. My whole body ached. But I decided to go out that night because I thought I just had a cold coming on.

“But we had to go home early becuase I though my head was going to explode.”

The following morning Rosie could not move and was rushed to hospital where she was diagnosed with viral meningitis.

“They sent me home. they couldn’t really do anything about it because it was viral.” She was told that she would recover after a couple of weeks’ bed-rest.

But - two years on - Rosie was still struggling. “I was panicking because I didn’t think I would ever feel normal again.” It was then that she underwent acupuncture and cranial osteopathy.

Rosie’s mum Teresa Strong, from West Chiltington, described the treatment as ‘a breakthrough.’ “Cranial massages release spinal fluid which get stuck somehow when meningitis attacks.”

She added: “Today I asked her by percentage how she was feeling compared to how she was before the illness and she said pretty much 100 per cent - she has her sparkle back.”

Rosie herself added: “My fiancé, family and friends have been very patient and understanding throughout my recovery. I found that a lot of people didn’t understand the after effects of viral meningitis, which is a shame.

“After you recover most people just expect you to be back to normal, which I know from my own experience and after reading other people’s stories, that this is not always the case.”

Meningitis Now spokeswoman Cheryl Brown said: “Complementary therapies such as acupuncture and cranial osteopathy really can have a positive impact on the after-effects of meningitis, as Rosie and her mum have experienced.”