I want to express how proud I am to still be here today.

I honestly cannot believe it has been two years seven months since I first fell ill from Autoimmune Encephalitis!

I was a normal, quirky (sometimes emotional) 15-year-old girl, starting her GCSE exams like all in my comprehensive school were, and then suddenly near the beginning of March 2015, I was losing my ability to eat, speak coherently and was becoming emotional over the tiniest thing.

Catriona before her illness

I didn't recognise my school, my teachers, my friends. And my GP and school nurse alike did not know what was happening to me.

Rapidly declining, I was taken to Accident and Emergency and honestly, the way I was reported to have been behaving was relative to say someone who had mentally snapped.

It was horrifying to say the least.

Weeks were spent in ICU, HDU and then finally a ward within the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital of Wales. I was able to go home after nine weeks, but didn't recover properly until two months later. 

Catriona in hospital

Encephalitis isn't well known, well studied and not can many forms be treated. I'm just happy I recovered due to the wonderful help from neurologists, doctors and nurses! And of course, my family and friends!

Up yours Encephalitis, I'm a survivor!

Cationa today