Nabila's StoryMy eldest sister fell ill as a result of Meningitis. She was only seven years old at the time. Misdiagnosis of her illness eventually resulted in physical and mental disabilities. By the time she was properly diagnosed, it was already too late. For the next 16 years my sister was bed/wheelchair ridden. She was unable to move or talk. She needed to be lifted out of bed, dressed and bathed by someone else. She was unable to chew solid foods and had to be fed puréed food. Even though she was unable to talk, I always thought she could hear and understand when spoken to by her moaning replies. Till this day, I don't know how she developed meningitis. I can only say with some degree of certainty that it was bacterial meningitis, however I am unaware of which bacterium. On August 19, 1994, Nabila passed away due to complications caused by pneumonia.
I was an infant when she fell ill. All of my memories of her are from the time after she was paralyzed. I can only imagine the life she lived prior to her illness through the photographs, audio tapes and stories my parents tell about her.
Meningitis is a severely debilitating illness. Only with early detection of the symptoms and with prompt medical attention, can it be treated.