Emma-Kate McGrath was 19 when her young life was invaded by this sudden and severe disease.
Within the space of 15 hours, the teen went from a seemingly healthy young woman, showing initial symptoms of what appeared to be a virus or the flu, to falling victim to a force that overwhelmed her body until it couldn’t fight any longer.
It ultimately took her young life.
“I’m not OK. People ask me how I am all the time, but they don’t really want to know the honest answer. They want me to tell them I’m well, that I’m happy but I’m not. How can I be?” Emma-Kate’s mum Abby told Mamamia.
The first time I met Abby was in a café in my home town, Ballarat.
I had seen photos of her, but I had never met her. I knew her ‘story’, I think everyone who lives here does. The devastating event that now and will undoubtedly continue to play such a part in defining her life was also one that shook the community immensely.
The woman that walked in that day was someone who brought with her an aura. But it wasn’t one of joy and brightness, instead it was one of pain. The sort of pain that rips a person apart, that consumes every part of their being, a pain still very raw. I also saw something else that seemed to just fit right in with the anguish. There was an underlying strength, one I had never seen in a person before.
Although Abby refuses to admit that she is strong, for her it is “just doing what she needs to, to get by”, her strength is irrefutable. It was this strength I soon realised held Abby together despite all she had faced in the past year and seven months since she lost her daughter to Meningococcal Septicaemia on the May 3 2017.
Meningococcal Septicaemia W strain invaded Emma-Kate’s blood and internal organs. Her body was riddled with this rapid and toxic infection, yet the cause of meningococcal in Emma-Kate still remains unknown.