Disease steals nine months from Robyn

WHEN Robyn Watson presented to hospital nine months ago with meningococcal, doctors thought the Agnes Water lady had little chance of survival.

Being released from hospital on Wednesday was the best 60th birthday present she could have hoped for.

On January 14 Robyn Watson was feverish and starting to show signs of the meningococcal rash.

Many would have confused her symptoms with a cold but her husband Noel Watson's quick thinking probably saved her life.

After reading a brochure about meningococcal he was able to recognise the symptoms and rang the ambulance which took her to Bundaberg Hospital.

Staff urged them to take her elsewhere, which Noel attributes to the now infamous Jayant Patel.

Robyn was treated at Brisbane's St Andrew's Hospital but was in a coma until early February.

Robyn's recollection of that time was a little different to Noel's.

"With all the drugs I'd been given I'd had a weird dream I'd been under government protection,'' Robyn said.

"I wasn't daunted at all... I accepted everything except I thought I was in danger.''

A doctor later admitted he thought Robyn had "a negative 110 per cent chance of survival'' and, although Noel believed in Robyn's ability to overcome the disease, his hopes weren't high for the first few months.

"The first two and a half months I didn't know whether I was going to have her,'' Noel said.

The Watsons said it was down to the dedication and talent of the hospital's staff that she was alive.

The Watsons said they believed she was lucky to escape the severe affects of meningococcal and lost eight toes, the tip of her finger and had her feet reconstructed.

Robyn wants people to realise the severity and far reaching nature of the disease.

"Anyone can get it,'' Robyn said. "I'm just trying to get it across to adults.

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