We have a number of young volunteers who have experienced encephalitis. Here we hear how they have coped with this and how they are doing now.

Callum, Grimsby, UK

Callum was 14 when he was diagnosed with unknown encephalitis: “Although encephalitis is inherently bad, it gave me a new outlook on life which I still use to this day to push forward and find motivation in everything I do.”

Aliya, Philadelphia, USA

Aliya was 20 when she had autoimmune encephalitis:  In my experience, recovery was a grueling process. Not only physically, but especially psychologically. It’s never selfish to admit you need help. Admitting you need help is the strongest thing you can do.”

Read more about Aliya’s story here

Rhys, Oxford, UK

Rhys was 15 years old when he had viral encephalitis - “You’re the best judge of how you’re feeling & what your after-effects are. You might need to adjust to a ‘new normal’ and be kind to yourself, not push it, take baby steps.”

Juliana, Florida, USA

Juliana was 14 when she had Anti-NMDA encephalitis: “We don’t know how strong we are until we’re forced to bring that hidden strength forward, and I’m happy to say that I did find the strength in me by never giving up."

Read Juliana's story
Watch Juliana's video

Hannah, Dublin, Ireland

Hannah was 21 when she has Anti-NMDA encephalitis and relapsed three years later: “Encephalitis can feel very isolating but through connecting with others also affected we all share an unspoken connection and knowledge of what each other went through. Connecting with others helped me feel less alone and no longer scared.”


Josh became ill with HSV in 2018, here he chats to fellow volunteer, Lucy about his experience and how life is now.

Please get in touch with Laura Bowditch, Volunteer Manager at the Encephalitis Society, if you’d like to connect with any of our trained young person volunteers. They would love to have a chat with you!