A 10-year-old’s earache turns out to be meningitis. Her parents are now speaking out to help others know the symptoms to look out for.


It was on a Saturday that 10-year-old Abbigayle Dipietro complained about experiencing earaches and was taken to the emergency room where they were told that she was experiencing an ear infection. By Sunday evening, Abbigayle was vomiting, but doctors told her mother Tasha Dipietro-Anderson that it was normal for her to experience headaches, vomiting, and fever because of the ear infection, so there was nothing to worry about.

However, Abbygayle had a seizure on Monday, so doctors decided to check for meningitis after they had checker her for flu and other illnesses. Unfortunately, something went wrong during the bone tap to check for meningitis, and Abbigayle fell into a comatose. By Tuesday, Abbigayle had lost all of her brain activity, and she was declared dead by Wednesday.

Her parents donated her organs in hopes of bringing something good out of the ordeal. They also set up a fundraiser on Facebook to help with the medical and funeral costs.


In Abbigayle’s case, she died from complications due to bacterial meningitis. Regarding some parents’ concerns that their children may have contracted it as well, health authorities are assuring the public that there was no threat to other students.

Because of her death, her parents as well as the county health department are now speaking out about the symptoms that people need to look out for when it comes to meningitis. According to Elkhart County health officer Dr. Lydia Mertz, an individual suffering from meningitis may experience muscle aches, stiff neck, body aches, and difficulties with moving their head around or nodding their head. A child may also complain of sore throats or earaches.

There are some types of meningitis vaccination, but this does not protect against all types of meningitis.

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