It seemed like a regular day.
Kaitlyn Dobrow, 18, woke up in time for her eight-hour shift as a receptionist at the Days Inn & Suites of Huntington Beach. She worked from 3 to 11 p.m. until her best friend, Kristen Kidd, gave her a ride to the gym, where they exercised together.
Back home about 1 a.m., she texted Kidd, "I just puked my guts out and my joints hurt so bad."
She arose between 9 and 9:30 a.m. Feb. 12, with complaints of a headache and body pain, but Advil provided no relief. Kathleen Dobrow, concerned by her daughter's immobility and the appearance of bruises on her skin, called the paramedics about 2 p.m.
Her fears were confirmed at Hoag Hospital: Kaitlyn was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.
Today, the Dobrow family is haunted by how the past six weeks have permanently altered the course of their lives.