When Lily O’Connell throat became sore on Christmas Eve, she thought she had the beginnings of the flu. By the next evening the 23-year-old was fighting for her life in hospital with a deadly strain of meningococcal.
The Sydney woman became seriously ill on Christmas Day. After vomiting and seeing a rash appear on her face, she rushed to hospital.
“I am just so lucky I lived three minutes away from the hospital because the doctors told me later that I was only about 30 minutes away from that being it for me,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “If I’d waited any longer I probably wouldn’t have made it.”
There, Lily was diagnosed with the W strain of the bacterial disease and placed in intensive care – where she would remain for eight days.
The young woman survived, but the disease destroyed her kidneys. She now requires dialysis every second day after suffering renal and adrenal failure.