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Reporter Loses Fingers and Toes to Meningitis

Andy Marso urges universal vaccination for deadly disease.
3:00 | 02/13/14

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Transcript for Reporter Loses Fingers and Toes to Meningitis
So I wrote this -- for many reasons that the main three reasons -- one. I wanted to raise awareness about meningitis because I hardly knew what it once I -- it certainly -- Actually eager to do what it did to me. The second reason was to hopefully inspire and give some hope to people are going through their own medical crises or really any crises where they feel like it's unbearable like on a daily basis are asking. How can -- possibly get through this. I want a dentist I wanted to show people story of somebody who was completely -- prepared for something terrible to happen had been sheltered pampered. And you know. -- -- Emotionally and mentally pretty weak and untested. And yet from that spot was still able to overcome illness and was able to come out better on the other hand. And I think it kind of shows like if I can -- anybody can. And so the third reason it hasn't journalist and then and -- writers just wanted to -- that story I knew I had historians tell a story worth telling. And and honestly -- I was really concerned about was whether -- can do justice. The book is called -- obtained and the sub -- is a meningitis nearly killed me then changed my life for the better. In 2004 I was a normal college student at the University of Kansas getting ready to graduate and one that I want that thinking -- had the -- By the next morning and get out of bed by the next evening -- was in critical condition fighting and bacterial meningitis. Three weeks later I woke up from a drug induced coma to find that the infection had. Compromised the -- -- to my extremities to the extent that my arms and legs turned black. My fingers and toes are starting to -- and I lost those testament dot. Three months of painful burn treatments followed to save my arms and legs and then had a year of rehabilitation. To learn how to walk. Giant dress -- use the bathroom all of the things they used to be able to do without even thinking about it. -- -- -- all that again. -- my case. 2004 I had meningitis -- this terror group B and in 2004 there was no accident that. There's vaccine for the other strains but there's no shot -- -- offense. Year since then. The vaccine has become has been developed there is now -- meningitis B vaccine -- been approved for use in Europe and Australia. And it's now being shipped by the FDAX at Princeton campus -- there's an active outbreak of meningitis B. Princeton University believe that now it is unlikely that a rare and more deadly strain of meningitis will spread. As the students about the -- for the Thanksgiving -- Scott -- at the University of Maryland where a survivor of meningitis -- says. That's still not good and it's safe enough for Princeton and why are we now making it available to college students across the country. Journalist and author Andy Marcel. For those of us who have had this disease and have waited years to see a shot -- could keep other people from going through what we went through. It's extremely frustrating to see it stuck in some sort of bureaucratic protocol. We want that's not available for people. It. -- -- -- And then. -- tell you about my story. Well ET. Jamie was a student at University of Texas she was younger as an analyst and I contracted -- disease and very similar results -- lost -- slights but doesn't mean she's us most of her fingers. And so me and my mom went down -- -- to Austin. To meet her and her family and our family this much like -- extremely supportive. You know bolstering her as much as they could. But I really think that it helped hurt to see mean. Do things with my hands because their hands and very similar damage so this is a button -- that's made for people -- -- Rennes got one fare like can big buttons for pants and -- for certain buttons. And it's obviously very compact and part of Lincoln curator -- in in years -- very easily believe that through the tunnel like. -- it grabs the button and you can pull it. Through with -- -- first. I think that I gave her one of these its unity candidate drug -- it cost me five dollars and she was so happy. You know she said that she you know she'd only been -- pants without buttons -- -- and this is an you know unable to do some stuff. And so any any little thing like that that I can do to kind of pay it forward -- help and support that survivors gave to me. It really does. It bolsters -- as well per share it -- it gives meaning to my experience. You know if if if I can help somebody else out. And it makes it easier to fathom why I went through -- -- So any different like people come out to me so many gifts of -- letters sent me. So -- support from different places around the you know. The US and Mexico. Different parts of the world. -- ours. Thinks and it -- to everyone. There's a lot of things -- haven't. Control hopefully can always control this -- how you react to those things. When bad things happen to you get despondent. -- do you fight through them and fight for something better. I was this week is -- -- -- and in that position I cried so many times I was despondent and yet. Even me as like sheltered and pampered as -- was as aren't prepared for this kind of experience is that was. There was something inside me that I think is inside of all of us. Which is that desire to fight for something better.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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