Fresher has tips of fingers and toes amputated from meningitis

It turned her entire body purple

A first year was forced to spend eight and a half weeks in hospital and go through thirty operations after being diagnosed with meningitis. 

Sophie Royce, 23, survived the deadly disease, but the fresher lost the tips of her fingers and toes to the condition.

And now just days after her two year anniversary of first being diagnosed with meningitis, Sophie has spoken out about the experience which left her in a life-threatening condition.


Sophie was diagnosed with meningitis at age 21

Sophie, who is due to start at London South Bank next month, said: “Before I became ill, I was aware of meningitis, but thought it only affected babies and young children.

“I quickly found out that is one of the biggest meningitis myths.”

Describing her ordeal on her Facebook page Meningococcal Septicaemia and Other Stories, Sophie wrote: “I was deteriorating extremely quickly.

“I remember an influx of people around my bed as they struggled to get an IV.”


Sophie lost the tips of her fingers and toes to the disease

Sophie added: “I was then taken to the intensive care unit where a team of amazing doctors and nurses worked on me trying to keep me stable.

“Antibiotics were pushed but I started to bottom out, my blood pressure and pulse started to fall dramatically.

“I was, by this time, purple from head to toe. At 12.25pm my heart gave out, the sepsis was starting to win.

“The doctors and nurses started CPR and managed with the help of an anaesthetist to get me back. It was only a matter of time before it would happen again.


She had to have 30 operations and spent eight and a half weeks in hospital

She added: “I had total organ failure, my lungs were overloaded with fluid from my body being poisoned from the inside out.

“I had lost so much blood from my body, burning me from the inside out as the poison tried to escape out my eyes, ears, legs and anywhere it could.

After days in intensive care, Sophie finally came round to discover she had contracted a rare strain of meningitis named meningococcal septicaemia W135.

“The sepsis had caused gangrene to my extremities and I was facing hard decisions about amputation and kidney transplantation,’ she recalled.

“Two years on and there is not an hour that goes by when we do not think of my incredible medical team, they are my real life heroes.”


Sophie said all teenagers preparing to go to university should be offered the vaccine.

She added: ‘Meningitis is such a vicious and nasty disease, hopefully we will now see a downward trend in the number of type W cases, particularly in teenagers.

“I will be telling everyone at uni who hasn’t had their ACWY vaccine to make sure they get it as soon as possible.

“If it prevents just one case like mine it will be worth it.”