A young British girl, who was left bedridden for six months after doctors failed to diagnose her, has finally received the proper treatment thanks to the Internet and her mother, the Daily Mail is reporting.
Dominique Fisher, 35, of Whitefield, Greater Manchester, England, took her daughter, 13-year-old Danielle Fisher to see the doctor in October after she began suffering from severe headaches and fatigue.
Over the next six months, Danielle was diagnosed with a variety of possible illnesses including meningitis, Epstein-Bar virus, a tumor, and even psychological problems — all of which turned out to be wrong, the paper reported.
"I'd begun doing some research myself by then as she had severe vertigo, couldn't walk anymore, and had severe joint and muscle pain," said Fisher. "I came across Lyme disease, and it just seemed to fit."
In April, Fisher took her daughter to see a professor who diagnosed her with Lyme disease and three other infections. The disease, also known as borreliosis, is spread by ticks and can cause nerve damage, paralysis and blindness if left untreated.
"If she had been diagnosed straight away, it would have been a course of six weeks of antibiotics, but now she's on heavy antibiotics," Fisher said. "On one extreme, she could be better in weeks, and on the other extreme, she might always be like she is now."
While education on the disease is limited in the U.K., the Health Protection Agency reports that incidents of Lyme disease have increased by 90 percent since 2006.
"Doctors need to be much more aware of early signs and symptoms, the fact that ticks can carry more than one infection concurrently and the fact that rashes can differ to those in medical journals," Wendy Fox, chairwoman and director of Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness U.K., told the Daily Mail.
Here in the U.S., Lyme disease is the most common illness transmitted by bugs or animals, with more than 20,000 cases reported each year.