This is a blog from Jade, Duty Manager at Nisbets Trade Counter in Coventry, who is taking part in BrainWalk, our World Encephalitis Day challenge, throughout February.

She is walking for her niece, Casey, 13, who became poorly with encephalitis last year.

This blog was originally shared with her work colleagues.

Hello everyone! 

The focus of this blog is to bring awareness to a very special cause close to my heart called encephalitis. Most of you have probably never heard of Encephalitis until today, because unfortunately 78% of the global population have never heard of it, but I am hoping to change that!

So what is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by an infection or through a persons immune system attacking their brain by mistake. There are so many causes and symptoms of Encephalitis that it is often very difficult to get a swift diagnosis, which is hugely imperative for the individuals survival and quality of life.

Over 500k people are affected by Encephalitis globally each year and some people are not as fortunate as we are and often lose their loved ones, whether that be physically or mentally so for me this fight is personal….Bring it on!

This time last year I would have been as clueless about Encephalitis as most people, I’d honestly never heard of it!

Unfortunately, at the end of June last year my families’ world turned upside down.

Blue lights, sirens…and then silence and confusion. My beautiful 13 year old niece Casey was rushed to hospital and admitted to a paediatric intensive care unit where she spent the next 3.5 months in a coma, having frequent seizures and being pumped with drugs….and I mean drugs!

As the weeks passed by with no visitations because of COVID, we spent endless hours not knowing what the outcome would be. We were told that the infection had taken hold and caused so much brain damage that they couldn’t see a way forward.

Devastating. So, we went to say our goodbyes. Then we had a miracle!...a professor from Birmingham Children’s Hospital thought he could help us…and boy did he!!

Casey was given 10 rounds of live saving Plasma fusion treatment and slowly made her way back to us. The last few months have been intense!! Casey has learnt to walk, talk, eat, drink and is still very much learning about who she is now. A true warrior! It has and still is very much a rollercoaster, but one we would have never seen ourselves on.

Casey become poorly with encephalitis last year

Encephalitis takes the person you loved and changes them in such a way that you often spend days, weeks and often months grieving the loved one before them. We are so grateful to the NHS & to the professor that stepped in to take a risk to save Casey’s life. We can never thank the doctors and nurses enough for what they have done for us and for Casey!

The 22nd of February is World Encephalitis Day, so my aim is to bring as much attention to this condition as possible.

I am currently taking part in a charity fundraising event called BrainWalk. This is in order to raise awareness and funds for the Encephalitis Society, who help and support many families who are unfortunate enough to know encephalitis and the damage it causes.

All the money that they receive goes into vital research on Encephalitis and finding the answers and results that we so desperately need.

So, I will be walking as many steps as I can during February, with my amazing BrainWalk team to kick some Encephalitis butt! Please visit The Encephalitis Society website, wear red on 22nd, share my posts, watch my videos and donate if you can to my BrainWalk team and thank you for reading!

Visit Jade's Justgiving Page

Jade and Casey