‘When I couldn’t fix George, I climbed a mountain’


A father climbed Mount Kilimanjaro while wearing a special vest that weighed 20kg (44lbs) to represent his son’s weight in a bid to raise awareness about meningitis.

James’s son, George, was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis at three years old and spent several days in intensive care before having a seizure and losing his hearing.

The family, from Leicestershire, want to raise money for meningitis research and, in the process, make people aware of the warning signs before diagnosis.

He said: “I think people know about the disease but don’t have a clue about the symptoms.

“If one parent takes the time to Google the symptoms, maybe we can prevent more children from becoming seriously ill.”

Claire Wright, head of evidence and policy at Meningitis Research Foundation, said: “Meningitis is difficult to spot and hard to distinguish from other common illnesses like flu or Covid in the early stages.

“It’s important to know that temperatures can fluctuate and a rash won’t always appear.

“Not everyone gets all the symptoms and they can appear in any order. Always trust your instincts and seek urgent medical advice if you have any concerns.”

Video journalist: Chris Waring

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