A Melbourne school leaver has tragically died of meningococcal just one week after completing his final exams.
Matthew Wilkins presented at hospital on Saturday morning suffering stomach pain, vomiting and a severe headache, but by that afternoon, doctors had pronounced him dead.
It was his brother’s 17th birthday.
In a statement issued via the school’s website, Marcellin College principal Mark Murphy remembered the 18-year-old as “a calm and mature” young man.
“He had a smile for all those he encountered. Matthew was a very diligent student who achieved many academic awards and who always gave of his best to all aspects of his studies,” Principal Murphy wrote.
“He was a person of great humility who never sought the limelight for his achievements and who loved being a student of Marcellin College.”
According to The Age, Matthew’s friends have delayed their schoolies trip so they can support each other through their grief.
Marcellin College students gather to remember Matthew. Image: Twitter.
Meningococcal is a rare, but highly contagious bacterial infection generally spread via the saliva or through prolonged close contact, such as within a household.
Symptoms in adults generally include headaches, stiffness of the neck, fever, nausea, sensitivity to light and aching muscles and joints.
Victorian health authorities believe Matthew's infection was isolated, and have reportedly told the school that no other staff or students ought to be at risk.
Feature image: Facebook.