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Student Dies After Mistaking Meningitis for a Hangover

Meningitis Death Hangover

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Jennifer Gray was a 21-year-old university student when she suddenly passed away in April. After experiencing what she thought was a harmless hangover, Gray was actually experiencing symptoms of Meningitis and died within 24 hours of being hospitalized. Her parents are now stepping forward to help prevent similar tragedies from happening across the world.

Gray was a third-year student at the University of the West of Scotland. According to her mom Edwina Gray, Jennifer had gone out on April 16 with a group of friends despite telling them that she hadn’t been feeling well earlier in the day. When she woke up the next morning, Jennifer told her parents that she was nauseous and sore, but blamed the feeling on a lingering hangover. “Oh mum, I think I’ve got a wee hangover, I’m feeling a bit sick, my head’s a wee tiny bit sore,'” Edwina remembers Gray saying.

However, after taking ibuprofen and resting for a few hours, Jennifer still didn’t feel any better. Het father immediately took her to the hospital. After brief questioning, doctors believed that Jennifer was either suffering from the flu or viral meningitis, a less severe strain of the disease patients often recover from. Unfortunately they were wrong.

“I couldn’t believe the state she was in, she was half dressed, she’d tried to get her clothes on but she couldn’t bend down to get them on her head was so sore. She was vomiting, she was as pale as anything,” her parents told STV News.

They continued, “We had her in a chair at this point because she couldn’t walk, but we just never thought that anything bad was wrong. She wasn’t complaining, she just sat in the chair but now when I look back she was probably losing consciousness, I just thought she was quiet.” To figure out what was going on, doctors put her in a medically induced coma and a CT scan showed immense brain swelling. Just a few hours later, Jennifer was pronounced braindead.

Doctors eventually found out that Jennifer actually had bacterial meningitis, the more fatal strain of the disease.

“The hospital said they hadn’t seen the illness move as fast as with Jennifer,” Edwina told the Daily Record. “When your kid is small and they’re unwell, that is one of the first things you think of, but as a 21-year-old woman, who just seemed to have a hangover, it wasn’t something we thought about. I thought, ‘She’ll be OK.’ But it was the opposite. It was a nightmare.”

In retrospect, Jennifer’s parents noticed that she had a persistent cold, cough and sore throat earlier on in the month, but she never complained about it or missed class. UWS gave Jennifer a posthumous degree; she was just one exam away from completing her degree in forensic science when she died.

[H/T: Cosmopolitan]

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