University student who thought she had a hangover dies from meningitis a day later

'She came in with vague symptoms and within hours, she was dead,' says mother

Rebecca Flood
Monday 19 September 2016 14:27
Comments

A university student has died from meningitis after mistaking the symptoms of the illness for a hangover.

Jennifer Gray was admitted to hospital with mild flu-like symptoms, but rapidly deteriorated and fell into a coma before passing away.

The 21-year-old had been out with friends the night before and believed she was suffering the after-effects of too much alcohol.

Only after her death were her parents, Edwina, 52, and Jamie, 55, told she had contracted bacterial meningitis.

Ms Gray told the Daily Record: “Meningitis struck my family. It came for us like a bolt from the blue. It is the worst possible thing to happen to someone who has an only child.

“Now I’ll never be a gran. I selfishly think about that. I’ll never see her married.

“Maybe she was never going to be married because we didn’t get to see what the future held. That opportunity is gone."

The third-year forensic science student, who studied at the University of West Scotland (UWS), in Paisley, rang NHS24 after suffering from a mild headache and sickness.

They advised her to head to Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital after her symptoms worsened on April 17.

Her parents met her at the hospital, and her mother, an occupational therapist, recalled: “I was shocked by the condition she was in.

“She looked horrendous. Within that hour since I last saw her, there was a rapid increase in symptoms.

“The hospital said they hadn’t seen the illness move as fast as with Jennifer.

“She came in with vague symptoms and within hours, she was dead.”

She was later transferred to the Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital but later died.

Mrs Gray added: “I just want people to know how fast the illness took her. One minute she was fine. The next minute she was brain dead.”

Jennifer was posthumously awarded a degree from the UWS.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in