My sister, Jamie, is a meningitis survivor. When she was only 20 years old and starting her first year at her dream university UT, she got sick. The illness quickly became worse and because I was the only family member in town, I went to check on her at home. She was nearly purple when i arrived so we drove straight to the hospital. After only 30 minutes in the ER, I was signing paperwork to put her on dialysis and was told to get my family there ASAP as she might not make it. Jamie ultimately was in the hospital for the next 8 months while doctors worked to save her life. She ended up losing her legs and fingers due to this life threatening infection. While this trauma hit our family hard, we never heard Jamie say, “why me”. She always kept a positive view point and kept everyone smiling and laughing during this entire traumatic ordeal. She was adamant about getting out of the hospital in time to attend the next ACL Festival. In 12 years, she never missed a year of attendance. While she wasn’t able to walk to the fest, she went via wheelchair and enjoyed every minute of it. Dancing in her chair during every set.
Almost 8 years later, Jamie is out and about and thriving in her new life as a meningitis survivor. Her goal now is to make sure everyone is aware that this disease is preventable so that nobody ever has to go through what she had to experience. She went on to become a gold and silver medalist with the American Paralympic Cycling team and continues to regularly visit those in the hospital experiencing life changing illnesses like hers.
Jamie continues to amaze and inspire me and everyone she encounters. She truly has a special light about her that makes her optimistic spirit contagious. She really is one of a kind. See more of her journey here http://www.thejamiegroup.org/media/