'My beautiful husband died from meningitis on Christmas Day'
The heartbroken wife of a Dublin man who died of a virulent form of meningitis on Christmas Day has urged people to be aware of the symptoms of the killer disease and to act fast.
Alice McGlynn, from Templeogue in Dublin, lost her husband Mark (56) to the disease within hours of him feeling unwell.
"On Christmas Eve, Mark complained of a headache and went to bed around 12.30am. He said that he thought he might be getting sick as he was starting to feel quite unwell.
"He had a fever of 102F (38.9C) and took paracetamol. The next morning his temperature spiked again at 102F.
"Mark complained of being extremely cold and was wracked with pain all over his body. He collapsed in the bathroom at noon on Christmas Day and suffered a form of seizure.
"He did not respond when I spoke with him. I held him in my arms and shouted to my family to call an ambulance immediately. They arrived in 15 minutes."
Mark, a guitarist and songwriter, was rushed to Tallaght Hospital.
"Over 90 minutes later a doctor arrived and explained that Mark's heart had stopped and the team were doing everything in their power to resuscitate him," said Alice.
"The doctor went on to say that they were unsure of what had caused the arrest but that the working diagnosis was that Mark had an aortic tear. He was on the CPR machine in the resuscitation room. They eventually asked us for the go ahead to turn off the CPR machine. I knew it was the end.
"Finally the machine showed the same and the line went flat. My beautiful husband was gone."
Two days after Mark died, Tallaght Hospital called to inform Alice her husband's bloods had tested positive for meningitis.
Monika Marchlewicz, Ireland manager at the Meningitis Research Foundation, said: "Meningitis and septicaemia can kill in hours. Although babies, young children and teenagers are at most risk, anyone can be affected at any time.
"Vaccines are the only way to help prevent meningitis and septicaemia, and we encourage everyone to take up the offer of the vaccines. There are not yet vaccines available to prevent all types of meningitis and septicaemia, so knowing the symptoms is also really important."