Bubbly 23-year-old went to bed with symptoms of a cold and never woke up

A bubbly 23-year-old went to bed with symptoms of a cold and tragically never woke up.

Abigail Harris, from Cheltenham, had been feeling unwell for months, but had tried to shake off her symptoms and carry on with life.

But the estate agent had no idea she was actually suffering from a bacterial from of meningitis – a serious infections affecting the thin lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

On March 27, Abigail went to hospital with a painful wrist, reports Gloucestershire Live .

After being diagnosed with tendinitis, she was advised rest it, but later that same night messaged her paramedic aunt, Fiona Scarlett, about having trouble breathing.

The pair discussed some of her other symptoms, before Abigail went to bed.

It marked the last time they spoke.

Fiona said: "She said she couldn’t drive to hospital due to her wrist hurting so I told her to get her boyfriend Kieron to take her.

"But she hadn’t told him how bad she felt and he’d gone to bed. She didn’t want to bother him.

"She said she’d try to go to sleep. We left it there."

Fiona became even more concerned when her niece failed to respond to a message the next morning asking if she felt better.

Abigail's father then rang to say she had been found fitting by her boyfriend in the early hours of the morning and rushed to hospital.

Medics then discovered a rash on the inside of one of her knees while she was in intensive care.

Fiona added: "She was being treated for meningitis.

"This was such a shock. It hadn’t even occurred to me it could be that as we don’t hear about it so much anymore.

"Abi did not improve with antibiotics, she was receiving expert care and it was becoming clear that things were not looking good for our girl. We kept hoping."

“As the day progressed, the doctors started to prepare Abi’s mum, dad, brother and her boyfriend for the worst news.

"On Friday March 29, with all her close family and best friends nearby, Abi was declared brain dead.

"The next day and as per her wishes, she donated her organs to save others and she was finally allowed to rest."

Abigail's family are sharing their heartbreaking story in a bid to stop other families suffering and to make World Meningitis Day, on April 24.

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