A MAN who lost four limbs after contracting meningitis has described the moment he realised something was wrong.

Mike Davies became ill with meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia late in 2017.

The Brighton resident was wrapping presents on Christmas Eve in 2017 when he began to feel progressively colder.

Mike said: “I looked like a ghost with blue lips.

“My family insisted on the trip to the Royal Sussex County hospital where the fantastic NHS clicked in.”

His wife Julie and son Rory were taken to a room and told he was unlikely to survive. But Mike continued to fight the disease, spending the next ten weeks in intensive care.

He said: “During this time I began to look forward to having my hands and feet amputated.

“Legs went one week, hands the next, and the hands took seven hours alone.

“Then I had weeks of recovery and wound healing.

“For a long time I had to have my blood detoxified three times a week at dialysis in hospital as my kidneys were so badly affected, but I could have died.

“One day I flatly refused to get out of bed to attend hospital for the necessary and life-saving dialysis I was having three days a week.”

Mike said he began to worry about how he would do everyday activities such as shower, eat and catch a bus.

But then he was offered counselling at the hospital and said he has since found “overcoming each of these challenges was another little victory”.

He said: “I learned to accept my situation and be at peace with it.

“I feel in quite a positive place in my mind about the challenges I still have to overcome.

“Support from other people has been key. I am a lucky man.”

With the help of prosthetic limbs, he is able to drive a specially-adapted car and is living life to the full, including holding his own pint of beer.

Mike is now working with charity group Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) to educate more people on the effects of the illness during Meningitis Awareness Week - which starts today.

It is an infection that causes swelling of the lining of the brain, which can result in septicaemia.

The charity estimates that each year there are nearly 2,500 UK cases of bacterial meningitis and meningococcal disease a year.

One in ten sufferers die and a third of survivors are left with long term complications.

But a survey found that only 66 per cent of people in the South East knew meningitis causes early death.

Mike said: “There needs to be better recognition of the after effects.

“That’s why I’m helping to raise awareness of the serious health outcomes, and how good aftercare can help.”

The Meningitis Research Foundation’s digital support service and Meningitis Progress Tracker found that in 2017 an estimated 42 million years of healthy life were lost around the world as a result of the disease. Between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of people who survive meningitis or neonatal sepsis are left with problems such as hearing loss, brain damage or amputations afterwards.