Last April, trainee doctor, Clio, ran the marathon for LDUK in support of her friend, Ellie, who’s a Lyme disease patient. We are thrilled to announce that Clio raised over £3,000!
Thank you to Clio for raising this incredible sum of money and helping to spread awareness of the illness.
Here, Clio shares some background to Ellie’s Lyme disease story:
“I met Ellie on my first day at Bristol Uni…she has been making me laugh ever since. She has been a fiercely good friend for the past 7 years and her positivity throughout this fight with Lyme genuinely inspires me every day. Below is Ellie’s story so far.
In September 2013, aged 17, Ellie was bitten on holiday in Mallorca by what she assumed to be a mosquito; however, the bite became abnormally large and swollen. Once back in the UK, she went to the doctors where she was unfortunately prescribed incorrect antibiotics and for an insufficient duration. Her health started to deteriorate, but no link was made to the bite. Her symptoms were intermittent and mainly flu-like. She experienced frequent infections, brain fog, joint pain and fatigue. She was then referred to an immunologist who diagnosed her with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, a condition with no known cure, she was told she would have to learn to live with her symptoms.
In September 2014, Ellie started at the University of Bristol, but had to drop out after 1 month as she was not well enough to continue. Returning the following year, she spent 3 years ‘managing’ her symptoms. To someone that didn’t know her well, she lived a ‘normal life,’ however, what people saw on the outside was quite different to the reality. During this time, she began to experience additional neurological and heart-related symptoms, but despite multiple trips to the doctors, and many hospital referrals, no one was able to join the dots together.
In August 2018, Ellie returned from her university year abroad. It was at this point that her health significantly deteriorated – 6 weeks into her final year, she went home with a kidney infection. As always, she assumed that she would be able to ‘bounce back’ and return a few days later, however, days turned into weeks, months, and now years. For Ellie, it had finally become impossible to continue to ‘push through’ – her body had reached its tipping point. After almost 3 months bedbound and symptoms getting more and more intense, she finally received a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Unfortunately once the disease has spread, treatment can be extremely hard-hitting and patients often feel significantly worse before getting better. This is why early detection and treatment are key.
3 years since going home, Ellie’s treatment is still ongoing, but thankfully she has made huge progress and the end is in sight. Despite the several years’ delay in receiving a correct diagnosis, and being primarily bedbound throughout the course of her treatment, she feels like she’s one of the lucky ones: ‘I have a diagnosis, I’ve been in a position to receive clinically proven treatment with a leading specialist from Germany, and I’m finally on track for a full recovery.’ Unfortunately, this is not the case for many.”