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Welland Tribune – Ontario: Lyme disease patient inspires petition

By Allan Benner, The Tribune                                   

Alex Latham was inspired when he learned about the plight of a Welland woman diagnosed with Lyme disease.

He was at work at General Motors when a co-worker told him about the challenges 24-year-old Bylynnda Turvey and her family have faced in trying to raise enough money to send her to Florida for treatment.

Turvey is one of a growing number of Niagara-area residents dealing with the same hardship, unable to get treatment in Canada.

In the days since her story was published, several other people have contacted this newspaper from throughout Niagara and as far as Burlington who have similar tales to share.

“It’s the horror stories coming from it, people having to second-mortgage their homes, trying to get people to help them raise money,” Latham said.

He said too many people with the disease are going misdiagnosed and untreated.

“It’s disgusting,” Latham said.

He said there are many wilderness areas in Niagara and therefore many places where people run the risk of being bitten by ticks carrying the disease.

“It’s going to continue to happen and we need to have something here to protect our children, and our government is just dropping the ball on this,” Latham said.

“It’s immensely troubling,” said Welland MP Malcolm Allen.

“Clearly, there are now a fair number of folks who are afflicted,” he said. “The common theme is you can’t get diagnosed appropriately, and then when you finally get diagnosed, we don’t really have a course of treatment up here. That needs to change.”

Latham has teamed up with some co-workers to draft a petition that asks the federal government to “acknowledge that our citizens have the right to proper medical care in combatting Lyme disease in Canada.”

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One Comment

  1. I live in Burlington and had lyme symptoms for more than 4 years now. I can’t have myself properly diagnosed by my family doctors for my stiff neck, nerve damage down my arm, fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, heart palpitation, twitching of facial muscle, hip pain etc, eventhough I never had any health problems before. After my second tick bite near Bellville, ON in 2013, I recall to have had a rash at my home in Burlington between 2007-2009. After second tick bite, I had vertigo and insisted on my family doctor to prescribe me with doxy for 3 weeks which she hesitantly complied. Close to the end of 3 weeks, all my symptoms disappear (vertigo, neck pain down to my arm, vertigo, brain fog etc). I could not get anymore medication from my family doctor eventhough I showed her journal on my progress and explained all lyme symptoms I had been having in the last few years. She even refused to get me tested for lyme. My symptoms come back again soon afterwards and with no health care, I turn to self medication using herbs and supplements. We have singing birds around our house. If Canadian health system deny this problem and medical association try to stop doctors who are willing to treat patient with lyme properly, this problem will be snowballing, many more people are going to be affected.

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