A double amputee whose meningitis was mistaken for the flu has pleaded for new university students to get their jabs ahead of freshers' week.
Mike Chinchen, now 50, from Bournemouth, went straight home to bed after falling ill at work in 2002 but was violently sick throughout the night.
The sales manager rushed to his local GP the next morning where he was diagnosed with the flu and advised to pick up general medication from the pharmacy.
But after speaking with the pharmacist Mr Chinchen was advised to go straight to hospital where he collapsed.
When doctors realised he had contracted meningitis he was placed in an induced coma for three weeks.
Mike Chinchen (pictured with son Sam), 50, lost both of legs to meningitis after his meningitis was mistaken for the flu
His meningitis caused life-threatening blood poisoning, known as meningococcal septicaemia. The condition saw blood and oxygen struggle to reach his limbs and they began to die
The sales manager (pictured with partner Shelley), from Bournemouth, is sharing his story in hopes that it encourages new university students to have their meningitis jabs ahead of the new semester
The deadly condition had poisoned his blood and cut off circulation to his legs, causing them to slowly die.
After a three-month stint in hospital, the father was given two below-the-knee amputations to alleviate the excruciating pain. He also lost the tip of three of his fingers on his right hand.
Mr Chinchen said: 'When I got home from work that day I went straight to bed, but after waking up to be violently sick several times that night I knew I wasn't well.
'Even once I went to the GP and they told me I just had the flu, I knew that wasn't the case - but if it wasn't for the pharmacist advising my partner at the time to take me to hospital I probably would've died.
'As soon as I got to the hospital I collapsed - I don't remember anything except for slowly waking up from an induced coma three weeks later.
'Despite the hospital trying to salvage as much of my body as possible, I had to have both of my legs amputated below the knee and three of the tips of my fingers on my right hand taken too.
Now, Mr Chinchen is sharing his story in hopes that it encourages new university students to have their meningitis jabs ahead of the new semester.
Mr Chinchen (in his younger days) said he made the decision to go ahead with his amputations to give him a shot at life for his family
Following the surgery he was back walking just two months later with the help of prosthetic limbs
The fit father is now back cycling and hiking, and has