Steven Elvidge has been left confused, frustrated, and debilitated for the past three years due to a mystery illness. Various symptoms have left him unable to live independently, forcing him to leave his job and move in with his father. Doctors have been unable to find the cause of these symptoms for years, but a positive NHS test for Lyme disease has given Steven and his loved ones hope. They are now raising money to see a specialist in Germany who could possibly give Steven the correct treatment.
Steven has described his situation as a “living nightmare,” as he is with severe symptoms of a mystery illness that is now suspected to be Lyme disease. Neurological effects leave him unable to form a complete sentence or recognize his four children at times. He can no longer run his business, and he has moved to Coventry so that his father can care for him.
His family cannot bear to see him this way, and they’re not sure how to best help him. His father describes the extent of the symptoms,
“He’s just about functioning, his memory is totally shot, he has the shakes, the nerves… he can’t feel hot or cold.”
Trying to find a name for Steven’s condition has proven difficult; he has been through numerous tests at Leicester Royal Infirmary, George Eliot Hospital, and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire without a concrete answer.
His family now feels that treatment from a specialist is their only remaining hope. They believe that it could help Steven get his life back. To fundraise for his treatment, they have set up a GoFundMe. You can donate here.
About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease spread through ticks. These ticks spread the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. According to the CDC, there are 30,000 new cases reported annually. Symptoms of this disease come in stages, and they progress depending on how long one has been infected. Three to 30 days after infection, a rash will appear at the site of the bite. Symptoms that follow include fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, pain in the muscles and joints, and swollen lymph nodes. In the days or months following infection, symptoms will evolve into severe headaches, additional rashes, neck stiffness, facial palsy, severe swelling and pain in the joints, arthritis, dizziness, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat, nerve pain, inflammation in the spinal cord and brain, shooting pains, numbness, tingling, and pain in the tendons, muscles, joints, and bones.
A diagnosis is obtained through the finding of characteristic symptoms, asking about exposure to ticks, ruling out other conditions, and various lab tests. A two-step blood test will be conducted in order to confirm a diagnosis. Rapid diagnosis is necessary for effective treatment. If it is caught during the early stages, antibiotics are a quick cure. People may also develop post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, which requires additional treatment. Preventing tick bites or removing them quickly is a good way to prevent Lyme disease as well.
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