Friday 22 February 2019

Be vigilant: TV presenter tells how he fought for life

Lucky: James Patrice and Erin McGregor perform in a panto at Dublin Presentation Primary, Terenure. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins
Lucky: James Patrice and Erin McGregor perform in a panto at Dublin Presentation Primary, Terenure. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

Television presenter James Patrice has revealed he was left fighting for his life after contracting meningitis as a 10-year-old.

The Dubliner has urged people to learn about and be vigilant for the signs and symptoms of the silent killer, which has seen a spike in cases since Christmas Eve.

Currently appearing on RTÉ's 'Dancing With The Stars' as a backstage reporter, Mr Patrice (29) said: "It was the night of January 3, 2000, when I got it, and I remember it like it was yesterday. I just felt a little weak and had a sick stomach.

"As the night went on, I still didn't feel particularly great. I was a little bit weak, and felt generally unwell. Mum said: 'If you are not well, stay in our room tonight'."

He said that he woke up in the early hours of the morning and felt he was going to get sick so went to the bathroom.

"I got the tiniest amount sick," he said. "Mum came in and she noticed red dots on my leg."

He ended up being rushed into Temple Street Children's University Hospital, which had been alerted to the emergency which was unfolding by their GP.

"It was like an episode of ER, the whole team was waiting for us. They had the room ready, which was great," he said.

"I remember collapsing down, and I woke up and I was in a bed, and they were cutting the clothes off me and my dad was beside me.

"They told my mum and dad the next 48 hours were going to be critical, and whether I would make it or not, they didn't know. I had bacterial meningitis and septicaemia. I had meningitis B."

Mr Patrice spent 10 days in hospital.

"I made a 100pc full recovery. I just remember the professor in Temple Street, he just kept saying 'you are so lucky'," he said.

Irish Independent

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