Survivor StoryMatt Williams
I JUST discovered the Meningitis Foundation of America, and think that it honestly is very powerful for those who have been touched personally by meningitis. I am one of those people. I’m a little unclear on all the details, but it occurred when I was three years old in Waynesboro, Virginia. I became very ill and was initially diagnosed with a common infection. When my condition worsened, my terrified parents rushed me to the University of Virginia Hospital, where I was admitted and later diagnosed with meningitis. I was in a coma when I was admitted, and the outlook was pretty grim.
Thanks to the doctors at UVA and a lot of luck, I left the hospital one month later. While no doubt lucky to be alive, I wound up with total deafness in my left ear and a fairly mild hearing loss in my right ear. I remember having to re-learn how to walk, and I remember years of speech therapy in the school system.
All that being said, I’m so fortunate to be where I am. I was a strong high school student, and completed a BA degree at the College of William & Mary. I’m currently 33, living in the Washington, DC suburbs, and have a great career as a manager in an insurance company. I’m even more proud of the fact that I didn’t let my hearing get in the way of singing, I’ve been singing since a young boy, and I’ve found a wonderful “side career” as a singer and actor in the DC area, and singing has taken me all over the country as well as overseas. I still have a bit of a lisp, but hey- who’s perfect?
I’m so thankful that there is a place for people to share stories. I’m happy to talk to anyone that thinks I could be of help to them. I know what it was like to grow up with it, and I know how INCREDIBLY difficult for my parents. I also know how lucky I am to even be here to write this! Thanks so much for the site, and for your time.
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