I was a first-year student at Leeds University.
In that first term I had spent most evenings with the uni dance society. I was happily settling in to a new-found independence – meaning I cooked my own fry-ups.
And then suddenly that morning, my new life was swept away in a haze of vomiting, unconsciousness, blue lights and A&E.
Kat dressed up for the 2007 Freshers’ Ball
The way meningitis B can attack the body means that in some cases it turns to sepsis, and that’s what happened to me.
While I was sitting in A&E, a doctor spotted the start of a rash on my wrist and knew straightaway what was happening.
My Harry Potter pyjamas were cut off with scissors to reveal the rash had already spread over my body.
What follows is a blur. 
I was placed in an induced coma while my body was at war with itself.
My immune system went into overdrive to try to get rid of the bacteria – but there was collateral damage when instead of just fighting the infection, it began to attack vital tissues.  
Blood rushed away from my limbs to my internal organs to save them.
“We’re going to have to amputate your leg”
My parents and brother arrived at the hospital to find me quarantined and strapped up to an entire room’s worth of machines.
That night they were told there was nothing more the doctors could do, that the chances were that I wouldn’t live through the night.
But I survived those crucial 24 hours. My blood pressure rose, my heart rate slowed, and for just under three weeks in intensive care, doctors and nurses worked around the clock to begin my recovery.
“I’m really sorry but we’re going to have to amputate your right leg, it’s not healing.”
I will remember those words forever.
When the doctor told me the news, I’d been in hospital for two months and didn’t know I had the energy for a scream. But I did.
I can’t exactly remember what happened next – my memory is still protecting me.
I had spent my 19th birthday and Christmas critically ill and when New Year’s Eve came around I found myself on a kidney ward. As the clock hit midnight I was dozing. The nurses came in with a celebratory glass of milk.
A few hours earlier I had been looking out of the window, wishing I was somewhere else.
My kidneys had failed, and I’d been having dialysis every day. This was considered more important than my legs at that time. Two tubes had been fixed into my neck and I would watch as my blood left slowly out of one tube, was cleaned, and returned to my body through the other. 
“I won’t be able to walk, let alone dance”
But my legs couldn’t be ignored. Dressings were changed daily. I shrank away from the sight as the bandages were pulled back.
My legs were becoming less and less a part of me.
They had turned black from the knee down and my toes looked like coal, as if I could flick them and they’d disintegrate.
This, I now recognise, was the beginning of my experience with phantom pain. It felt as if cats were nibbling my toes – a tingling feeling, as though my legs were still alive, but heavy and unmovable.
After that first operation the nurses pulled the starchy hospital sheet back to reveal an empty place in the bed where my calf and foot had been. 
Looking down at that space, seeing a piece of me gone, was a strange moment I’ve never quite managed to come to terms with. I had a feeling of resigned hopelessness – that, despite wanting so much for things to be different, I knew they wouldn’t be.  
Two months into my hospital stay it was decided that my left leg would also need to be amputated, about 10 inches below the knee.